The Mets will see the Astros for the first time since the sign-stealing cheating scandal was revealed twice, from June 21-22 in Houston, and June 28-29 in Queens.
Until the coronavirus pandemic shut down baseball in March 2020, the Houston Astros sign-stealing scheme was the story in sports, as fans regularly booed the Astros’ star players as they walked up to bat in spring training and during the 2021 season when fans were allowed back into the stadiums, most notably towards Jose Altuve. The Mets were scheduled to face Houston twice in the original 2020 schedule before the pandemic revised those schedules.
The Astros still employ some of those players, like Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Yuli Gurriel. But it has been the younger guys that have carried the offense, like Kyle Tucker, and Yordan Alvarez.
And it has been the pitching that has carried Astros to a first place record. Justin Verlander has been the feel-good story, though. At 39 years old, he is coming off Tommy John surgery, and is having one of the best seasons in his Hall of Fame career. He is 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 57.2 innings pitched. The Astros’ rotation has also gotten strong performances from noted postseason performers Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier in their rotation.
The Astros also boast the best bullpen ERA in baseball, and that is headed by a four-man machine with Ryne Stanek, ex-Phillies closer Hector Neris, ex-Met Rafael Montero, and closer Ryan Pressly. The Astros are 27-0 when leading after seven innings, and are tied with the Mets with a league-best 30-0 record when leading after eight. So fall behind early against this team, and it’s essentially game over.
So when this 25 game schedule eases up, given the difficulty of the schedule, I'd expect the Mets to go 13-12, such that they finish June with a record of 47-30.