The New York Mets have been one of the true surprise packages of this baseball season, having put up an impressive record against tough competition. But on Monday at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, they’ll suffer a setback. The Brewers send their ace Yovani Gallardo to pitch. Gallardo’s numbers in 2012 thus far do not suggest elite greatness: he’s 2-3 with a 5.23 ERA. But digging deeper into the stats, it’s clear that his overall performance has been skewed by one team. In two starts against the St. Louis Cardinals, he has a 22.24 ERA; in his five other appearances his produced a 2.45 ERA. Against Miguel Bautista’s Mets (the same Miguel Batista with a 5.89 ERA), Milwaukee on the road at 1.72 is looking good.
Although the Tampa Bay Rays are flying high in the standings, they will not fare well in their contest in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Against a typically opportunistic Rays offence, Toronto have the right guy pitching at the right time – Brandon Morrow. The right-hander has won four consecutive starts, posting a 0.65 ERA over that period. He did get shelled for six runs in six innings when he faced Tampa Bay on April 18th, but he’s throwing with far more confidence now.
As talented as the Rays’ pitcher Jeff Niemann is, he’s historically had difficulty with the Blue Jays. His lifetime record in 12 starts against the Canadian team is 4-4 with a 5.11 ERA. Morrow’s momentum gives Toronto the advantage and makes the Blue Jays (1.72) the better pick over the Rays, who can be backed at 2.12.