Last night the Rays bullpen showed they’re human as they allowed the Mets to mount three separate comebacks, including a walk-off home run from Pete Alonso. The teams will play in the rubber match this afternoon, and we’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
Outside of Pete Alonso’s walk-off homer, the Mets were powered by their rookies in last night’s win. Kodai Senga was dominant on the mound with 12 strikeouts over six innings of work, allowing just one earned run and three hits. Despite each of the Mets bullpen pitchers that followed allowing at least one earned run, they got bailed out by Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez, both leaving the yard to tie the game at different points.
On the mound for New York this afternoon will be right-hander Tylor Megill, who is set to make his 9th start of the year. In 40.3 innings of work, the righty has pitched to a 4.02 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 22 walks. Megill picked up the win in his most recent start by throwing five innings with four strikeouts and one earned run allowed. Even with the win, Megill still had four walks, which marked the fifth start in which he issued three or more free passes.
Megill faces a Rays lineup that sits atop most statistical categories for hitting this season and still scored seven runs despite their loss yesterday. Tampa had ten hits in the game, five of which were extra-base hits, including Brandon Lowe and Jose Siri home runs. Their ten hits yesterday brought the Rays' batting average on the road up to .286 for the season.
Getting the ball for Tampa Bay will be young righty Taj Bradley, who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since April 24th. In three career starts, Bradley went 3-0 with a 3.52 ERA across 15.3 innings. The Rays top pitching prospect also struck out 23 while walking only two in that span, so he proved he was more than ready and comfortable in the Majors during his first stint.
The Rays are currently priced at (-113) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Not only are the Rays 10-3 in their last 13 games three’s of series, but they take on a Mets team that is 0-7 in their last seven games following a win. In terms of pitching, the Rays have the advantage as Taj Bradley possesses stuff that is tough to face for the first time. Tampa Bay also has a .845 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, so they should be able to adjust quicker in the box today.
Megill is in the 14th percentile in expected batting average, 24th percentile in expected slugging percentage, and 17th percentile in walk percentage. On top of that, the right-hander also has an expected ERA of 5.90 which does not bode well against a Rays lineup that is 2nd in hard hit percentage and 8th in BAbip this season.
Even with their win last night, the Mets are still hitting .232 at home against right-handed pitching. In his three starts, Taj Bradley was in the 71st percentile in barrel percentage, 93rd percentile in expected batting average, and was in top 4% of the league in expected ERA. I also don’t expect the stellar Rays bullpen to have two straight bad performances once Bradley comes out of the game.
Tampa Bay Rays (-113)