The New York Mets are hopeful that good things come to those who wait as starting pitcher Justin Verlander makes his season debut on the road against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
While with the Houston Astros last season, Verlander led qualifying American League starters in wins with 18 and ERA at 1.75 with 9.5 strikeouts to 1.5 walks per nine innings.
In his lone minor league rehab start, Verlander pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and just one walk, similar to his 2022 MLB numbers.
Verlander gets to face one of the league’s worst offenses to start the season as the Tigers entered Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Mets last in the league in runs per game with just under 3.3 while hitting .222, good for 28th out of the 30 MLB teams.
The Tigers turn to Eduardo Rodriguez to continue his solid start to the 2023 season. He’s posted a 2.21 ERA overall, but in his last four starts has allowed just two runs and three walks across 26 2/3 innings.
While the Mets' offense has not been going through the same woes as the Tigers, the team did enter Wednesday 19th in the league in home runs per at-bat and 18th in batting average.
With it being Verlander’s first start of the season, it would not be surprising to see the Mets keep his pitch count lower than normal, and with the Mets ranking 11th in MLB in bullpen ERA, a pitcher’s duel is on tap for Detroit on Thursday.
The Play: Mets vs. Tigers Under 8