Preview: Guardians at Mets Game 2 of DH | Sun 7:10 PM. EST. 5/21

May 21, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 in the Books, On to Game 2

In the ESPN Game of the Week, the New York Mets will be hosting the Cleveland Guardians in the second game of a doubleheader. The original Game 2 of this series had to be postponed due to rain. This preview focuses on the rescheduled Game 2.

3 Things Preview Guards vs. Mets Game 3 Sunday Night Baseball:

1 – Bieber Time 

The Guards need Shane Bieber to be an ace tonight as Justin Verlander is on the bump for the Mets.  Guardians are struggling to win a game against New York and Bieber needs to put a stop to it. 

2 – Doubleheader Woes

So far the Guardians are 0-5 in double headers as they head into game 2 of the double dip.  They lost both games to the Tigers and Marlins earlier in the season, hopefully, the Guards can flip the script. 

3 – No Bell in GM 2

Manager Terry Francona is sitting Josh Bell as Josh Naylor starts at first base with Amed Rosario at DH.  A couple of other notes: Cam Gallagher gets the start behind the plate and Gaberial Arias starts both games as he will be at shortstop for game 2. 

Guardians Notes

This is an exhausting team to follow.

The Guardians are similarly exhausting, given their lack of competent offense and a questionable bullpen (what’s wrong with Emmanuel Clase?).

Guards Stats and Insights


  • Bieber (3-2, 3.20 ERA) makes his 10th start. He has a 1.22 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9 and 6.9 K/9 in 56 1/3 innings.
  • Last outing: Loss, 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 12 H, 0 BB, 4 K, in an 8-3 road loss Tuesday vs. Chicago White Sox
  • Career vs. New York: 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA (6 IP, 2 ER), 4 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 7 K in 1 start


  • The Guardians are 16-76 (.174) when trailing entering the 8th inning since last season — best in MLB; League Avg: .089.
  • The Guardians are 22-72 (.234) when trailing entering the 7th inning since last season — best in MLB; League Avg: .124.
  • The Guardians are 22-51 (.301) when allowing 5 or more runs since last season — 2nd best in MLB; League Avg: .198.
  • The Guardians are 24-26 (.480) when their opponents score in the first inning since last season — 2nd best in MLB; League Avg: .349.

Mets Notes

After dominating the Tigers and Reds in his initial two outings, Verlander experienced a major setback when facing the red-hot Rays. The effectiveness of Verlander’s fastball, as measured by Stuff+, has been declining consistently over the past three seasons. Although the velocity remains steady, there seems to be a loss of movement or effectiveness. This decline has raised some doubts and uncertainty in my mind.

Regardless of the reasons behind this decline, I’m not convinced by it. Typically, the K-BB rate tends to stabilize more quickly than other pitching statistics, yet Verlander is struggling in this area. His K-BB rate has dropped to 14.5%, which is nearly a 10% decrease compared to last season.

In his three starts, Verlander has already surrendered four home runs. I anticipate a regression in his 16% HR/FB rate as time goes on.

Mets Stats and Insights


  • Verlander (1-2, 4.76 ERA) makes his 4th start. He has a 1.18 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, and 7.9 K/9 in 17 innings.
  • Last outing: Loss, 5 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 3 K, in an 8-5 home loss Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay Rays
  • Career vs. Cleveland: 22-24 with a 4.53 ERA (337 2/3 IP, 170 ER), 310 H, 38 HR, 123 BB, 359 K in 54 starts


  • Mets hitters have just 501 strikeouts in 2,520 PA’s (20%) against LHP since last season — 4th best in MLB; League Avg: 22%.
  • Mets hitters have just 1,072 strikeouts in 5,435 PA’s (20%) against RHP since last season — 2nd best in MLB; League Avg: 23%.
  • The Mets have scored first in 63% of their home games since last season — highest in MLB; League Avg: 47%.
  • The Mets are batting .183 with two strikes since last season — tied for best in MLB; League Avg: .169.

Final Thoughts

Both Shane Bieber and Justin Verlander are expected to perform better than they did last Tuesday. In the upcoming game between the Cleveland Guardians and the New York Mets, both teams have struggled offensively throughout the season, making it a potentially favorable matchup for the pitchers. Unlike the high-scoring game between the Guardians and Mets last Friday, We anticipate a different scenario in Sunday’s closing game of the series with Bieber and Verlander on the mound.

Considering these factors, we recommended betting pick for the Guardians vs. Mets game would be to bet on the under for the total score. As for the side bet and how the Guardians have been playing over the last week would lean toward the Mets because they appear to have a more potent offensive lineup compared to Cleveland. Jose Ramirez stands out with an 11-for-34 record, including two home runs against the veteran right-handed pitcher from the Mets. Nonetheless, the Guardians have only scored more than three runs in four out of their last 11 games, so we expect Verlander to have a dominant performance.

For the Mets keep an eye on Eduardo Escobar, who has a strong 5-for-6 record with a home run against Bieber. Starling Marte has gone 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs, while Pete Alonso has yet to find success in three at-bats against Bieber. The Mets’ offense has shown improvement recently, scoring five or more runs in four of their last six games.

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