2 Mets we're gaining confidence in for the Rays series, 2 that make us timid of a turnaround

New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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After a strange weekend filled with four hour rain delays and a 4-4 Michael Perez game, the New York Mets left Washington D.C with a disappointing series split. With their record continuously slipping and their shots at a division title diminishing, Mets fans are rightfully angry with how their team has performed so far.

While there were many negatives that led to these losses, the Mets did see some positive contributions from some key players that hadn't been there before. They will need those players to step up in what figures to be an incredibly difficult series vs the Tampa Bay Rays this week. Owners of the best record in baseball, the Rays are currently in another class than the Mets, and New York will need to show vast improvements if they want to win this series.

Mets pitcher Justin Verlander showed fans signs of his dominance that helped him win his Cy Young award

Brought in to replace Jacob deGrom this past offseason, Justin Verlander had yet to make his season debut until earlier in May against the Detroit Tigers. With that start in the books, it appeared that the Mets gave Verlander the go ahead to go deeper into the games, and he did just that.

Verlander was dominant against the Cincinnati Reds. He went seven innings, which tied for the longest any Mets starter had gone all season. Across those innings, he scattered two hits and one run, striing out seven. Verlander threw 104 pitches, which is all the indication Mets fans need that the former Cy Young winner is back and fully healthy.

Verlander is slated to take the series opener against the Rays, scheduled to face off against lefty Jalen Beeks. With a clear pitching advantage, this feels like a game the Mets cannot afford to lose, especially given their recent struggles.

If the Mets can continue to get great performances out of Verlander, their chances in the NL East will significantly increase. With the rest of the staff struggling, this is a great opportunity for Verlander to show his stuff against the best of the best and will the Mets towards a huge victory.