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Series preview: Guardians at Mets

Don’t make me watch Carlos Carrasco pitch against Cleveland

Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

I would like to think that, overall, the Francisco Lindor trade between the Guardians and Mets will be one of those rare cases where everyone comes out happy in the long run. Just ... don’t ask either team about it right now.

Both the Guards and Mets are struggling to find runs (and wins) right now, and the players in that trade aren’t helping matters much. You probably don’t need me to rehash the 2023 struggles of Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez, but know that Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco aren’t doing much better in their new homes.

Lindor — two years into a 10-year, $341 million extension signed in March 2021 — has a .225/.308/.410 slash through 45 games. If his 102 wRC+ holds, it would be his worst offensive season ever, barely a shade worse than the 103 wRC+ he put up in his first year with the Mets. His defense at shortstop has, and probably always will, elevate his value beyond his bat, but when if you’re the Mets paying a guy $34 million a year you probably want him to do more than just be a good defender.

The Guardians will face Carrasco in Game 1 and it will be the one and only case where I would be OK with a struggling veteran pitcher suddenly finding their way against this lineup. Carrasco, who once ate pizza for 90-straight days because it was the only thing he knew how to order in English and overcame a leukemia diagnosis in 2019, could tear Progressive Field apart piece by piece and throw it into Lake Erie and I would still be rooting for him the whole way. Don’t judge me.

Once a superstar pitcher with Cleveland, Carrasco’s tenure in New York has been a disaster. This season, through three starts, he has an 8.56 ERA and has walked just as many batters as he has struck out (8). He hasn’t pitched since an elbow injury on April 15; so far with the Mets he has only made 44 starts in two-plus years due to various injuries.

Now, as for a veteran that I would hate to see get back on track against the Guardians, Game 3 starter Justin Verlander has a 4.76 ERA through his three starts. His season had a late start due to a strain of his teres major muscles — the same injury that has kept Triston McKenzie sidelined all season — and he’s looked OK against some bad lineups.

Verlander allowed six runs against the Rays in his last start, which followed up two solid outings against the Tigers and Reds. Unfortunately, I would say the Guardians lineup is closer to the Reds than the Rays, but maybe they can finally get rolling in New York and beat up on Verlander for old-time’s sake.

Game 3 couldn’t have lined up any better for Sunday Night Baseball, as it’ll be a battle between Verlander and Shane Bieber. Pitting Giménez against Lindor would be fun as well — if only one of them wasn’t carrying an 88 wRC+ at the time of this writing.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 22-23
  • Runs scored: 190
  • Run differential: -17
  • Last 10: 5-5
  • Slash: .240/.322/.384
  • wOBA: .313
  • wRC+: 101
  • ERA: 4.72
  • SIERA: 4.40
  • K-BB%: 12.4%

Projected starters

Friday, May 19, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Carlos Carrasco vs. RHP Cal Quantrill
Saturday, May 20, 4:10 p.m. ET: RHP Tanner Bibee vs. RHP Max Scherzer
Sunday, May 21, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Justin Verlander vs. RHP Shane Bieber



How many games will the Guardians win against the Mets?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    (17 votes)
  • 27%
    (33 votes)
  • 42%
    (52 votes)
  • 16%
    (20 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now