Mets set to square off against two consecutive familiar faces

Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago White Sox
Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Some of the toughest decisions a team has to face in free agency is deciding which players to let walk. As a result of making some splashes in the offseason, the New York Mets were not able to hold onto former starters Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt. This week, those players have a chance to show Steve Cohen and co. what they're missing.

The Mets will face off against two former starting pitchers this week, who may be out for a little bit of revenge

Now with the Philadelphia Phillies, Walker will have his moment back in Citi Field against the Mets in the rubber match of their first series of the season. The Phillies tempted Walker away from Queens with a lucrative 4 year, $72 million offer, and so far he has yet to live up to the billing.

Despite being 4-2, Walker has a 5.57 ERA and has already surrendered 9 home runs after allowing just 15 all of last season. This will undoubtedly be Walker's biggest start of the season, and the Mets need to make sure to take advantage of his slow start in order to win this crucial game.

Immediatly following this series the Toronto Blue Jays come to town, and former Met Chris Bassitt will take the hill against Justin Verlander on Friday night. Bassitt has turned it around a bit after a rough start, currently holding a 5-4 record with a 3.80 ERA.

This will be Bassitt's first start in Queens since his disastrous 2022 Wild Card, where he gave up four runs in three innings before being pulled. Mets fans will be hoping for a repeat performance from him in what figures to be a difficult series against a playoff hopeful.

While neither of these pitchers are off to great starts, Mets fans should hold off on the hubris in these matchups. Pitchers tend to bring a bit of edge to their game to show out against former teams, as made evident by Marcus Stroman's dominant performance against the Mets last week. Same can be said of former Met Zack Wheeler, who has a 4-4 record since leaving New York and always seems to pitch in Queens with a chip on his shoulder. Regardless, the Mets should be familiar with their two former starters from last season, and they will need to use that to their advantage if they want to pick up these two important wins.