Mets May Preview: A tale of two months lies ahead on the schedule
By John Flynn
The New York Mets began their May 2023 schedule yesterday with a split of a doubleheader over the archrival Atlanta Braves.
But what lies ahead for the Mets the rest of the month with their schedule is two different types of opponents for them to face; the haves and the have nots will face the Mets over the next 30 days.
The Mets will welcome their aces back into the rotation as they begin a 13 -game stretch against sub-.500 opponents from May 2-15 against the Tigers, Rockies, Reds, and Nationals.
Max Scherzer will come off his 10-game suspension on Wednesday night to face his former team, the Detroit Tigers in a three game series in the Motor City, with Justin Verlander coming off the injured list to make his Mets debut on Thursday.
And this Tigers team is probably the team to start off against because of how offensively challenged they've been to start. Over their first 27 games, they've scored just 88- runs, or 3.2- runs per game, the worst such mark in baseball. Other than Matt Vierling (.288 batting average and .745 OPS), who was shipped to Detroit from Philadelphia, and Zach McKinstry (7 extra base-hits in 57 at-bats), the Tigers offense has not produced.
This is also the last time the Mets will see future Hall-of-Famer and nemesis Miguel Cabrera, as he will retire at the end of the season, and the first time the team will face Javier Baez since his tumultuous two months in Flushing in 2021. Baez is in the second year of a 6-year, $140 million contract he signed with Detroit in November 2021, and maybe beneficial for the Mets given his bad start there.
They'll then host the Colorado Rockies this weekend from Friday to Sunday. The Rockies finished April with the worst record in the National League, and they too have had issues offensively. Only one player, their catcher Elias Diaz, has an OPS+ better than 110, and the team has hit just .220 away from Coors Field so far.
The Mets will then travel to Cincinnati from May 9-11 to take on the Reds, a team ranked in the bottom third in the league in OPS+ and near the middle in ERA+, and their rotation is headlined by young starters in Graham Aschraft and Hunter Greene, who have both been outstanding to begin the season.
The Mets will have their second meeting with the Washington Nationals in a four-game set at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. as the team looks for a better result than the one last week, where the Mets lost two of three at home to the last place team in the division.