The upcoming Mets vs. Rays series has added fuel thanks to Evan Roberts' accusations of cheating
The New York Mets begin a series next week against the best team in MLB, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, who lead the league in home runs, were accused by WFAN radio host Evan Roberts of cheating.
The Mets will have to face an offense that leads in almost every offensive category. Justin Verlander will be the starter in a series that will generate a lot of attention as the allegations about what is happening with the Tampa offense continue to grow.
Mets pitching has a tough test this week
Evan Roberts argued about the possibility that the Tampa Bay Rays are cheating without any evidence. His argument is based on a collective change in the team's hitting profile, even those hitters who didn't have the power they're showing this season.
Roberts's accusations seem empty since they lack data to prove what is happening. However, the case for the power demonstrated by the Tampa lineup is striking, especially when looking at the numbers from last year.
The Rays were one of the worst home-run teams last year, this year they are the best in the league. According to its hitting coach, Chad Mottola, the team has changed its approach at the plate. Suddenly, the Rays massacre fastballs and sliders, which they couldn't hit last season.
Many players in MLB have made adjustments that have made them generate better results, such as Max Muncy, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., or the most recent case of Jarred Kelenic. In these cases, mainly by modifying the batting stand and mechanics, a better launch angle has been generated that has allowed them to raise the ball more and generate more results thanks to the innate power of these players.
In the case of Tampa, what has increased significantly is the collective hard-hit contact of the team, doubling its barrel% from 2022, something that is curious. Tampa could be using a combined formula of angle and biomechanics that is creating a historic turnaround in their offense.
As far as the data allows us to see what happens, the Mets have the proof of facing a fearsome lineup. A good series against the Rays could be a turning point in the team's season. Maybe this is the spark the Mets desperately need.