6/20/23 Game Preview: New York Mets at Houston Astros

Francisco Lindor, New York Mets.

If the New York Mets (34-38) are going to salvage their season, last night’s game would be a good blueprint to follow. Max Scherzer pitched eight innings for the first time as a Met and the offense exploded for 11 runs in a blowout win over the Houston Astros (39-34). The win was the Mets’ first in Houston in 12 years and they will look to get another tonight as they continue their series with the Astros. First pitch for tonight’s game is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Right-hander Justin Verlander (2-3, 4.40 ERA) will take the mound tonight as he makes his first start against the Astros since leaving as a free agent at the end of last season. Verlander delivered a gem in his last start, allowing one run in six innings against the New York Yankees last Wednesday, but was not a factor in the decision of a game the Mets went on to win 4-3 in 10 innings. The Astros will counter with their new ace, lefty Framber Valdez (6-5, 2.27 ERA). Valdez dominated the Washington Nationals in his last start, giving up one run in seven innings against them last Wednesday, but was not a factor in the decision of a game the Astros went on to win 5-4.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

New York Mets Lineup:

Pre-Game Notes:

Verlander is 5-0 with a 2.55 ERA in nine career starts against the Astros but hasn’t faced them since 2017, a little over a month before the Detroit Tigers traded him to Houston.

Valdez faced the Mets in New York on June 28 of last season, tossing eight shutout innings to pick up his eighth win of the season.

Daniel Vogelbach and Brett Baty will sit with the lefty Valdez on the mound. Mark Canha will serve as the designated hitter and bat eighth while Eduardo Escobar plays third base and hits ninth.

Jose Abreu (19 for 49, 3 2B, 6 HR, 9 RBI) and Jose Altuve (9 for 16, 2B, RBI) have good numbers against Verlander.

Starling Marte is 4 for 12 (.333) with two doubles in his career against Valdez.

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