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Preview: Teheran to open rain-shortened series against Gsellman

This won’t be an Opening Day rematch, like originally announced. Instead, Julio Teheran faces Robert Gsellman.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
This was Julio Teheran pitching 23 days ago. I swear, we are not in a time warp.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

There was a brief point where this game was going to be a rematch of Opening Day, with Julio Teheran facing off against Noah Syndergaard. Instead, the Mets have bumped Syndergaard to tomorrow (even though they originally announced him as the starter for today’s game), and so today’s game becomes a match of yesterday’s scheduled starters: Teheran and Robert Gsellman. So, you can read some fun Noah Syndergaard facts below, but otherwise be advised that this is not an Opening Day rematch any longer.

Gsellman has made three starts and one relief appearance so far this season, and has gotten really unlucky with a strand rate near 50%, though his peripherals are quite solid (3.51 FIP, 3.04 xFIP). He pitched one scoreless frame against the Braves in relief on Opening Day, and most recently allowed three runs in seven innings to the Phillies in a game the Mets ended up winning by a score of 5-4.

If you were in a coma for 23 days, good news (well, aside from the coma thing): that Julio Teheran-Noah Syndergaard Opening Day matchup you were looking forward to? Well, it’s happening (again)!

If you weren’t in said coma, then you’re aware that due to last night’s rainout, the Mets have taken advantage of the ability to start Syndergaard on regular rest to face the Braves in a now-shortened series.

Not much has changed since yesterday, but here’s a quick rundown in case you’re only here now:

  • Julio Teheran did not allow an earned run in his first two starts of the year, then allowed two runs in his third start, and then got creamed by Bryce Harper and the Nationals in his last outing. He currently has a 3.52 / 4.60 / 4.96 pitching slash line, but the ERA was as sparkling as 0.95 and the FIP was as pretty as 2.94 before Harper went all smashy-smash on Teheran’s pitches.
  • In his Opening Day start, Teheran pitched six scoreless against the Mets, with four hits, three walks, and six strikeouts tallied. The last time Teheran had a bad start against the Mets was.... wait for it... April 2015, where he allowed four runs and didn’t make it out of the fifth. Since then, he’s allowed three runs in 43 innings to the Amazins. Yup. (Of course, none of that stopped the Braves from losing on Opening Day 2017 by a 6-0 score.)
  • Meanwhile, Syndergaard is once again being essentially the best pitcher in baseball. Joy. After leading baseball in fWAR (6.5) last season, he’s currently second in MLB in the same metric, though has an FIP lead over the first-place pitcher, Chris Sale. Syndergaard’s pitching triple slash is 1.73 / 0.75 / 1.92, which are numbers I don’t think you could even consistently get in a videogame.
  • In addition to his Opening Day start, where he held the Braves scoreless for six frames, gave up five hits, walked none, and struck out seven, Syndergaard has 30 total strikeouts in 26 innings pitched and has allowed just five earned runs in four starts (though he’s weirdly allowed four unearned runs as well). His most recent start was his “worst” in that he allowed three runs in the first inning against the Phillies, and then two more in the third inning, but still finished with seven innings pitched, ten strikeouts, and no walks. (Two of the runs were unearned, thanks to a Jay Bruce fielding travesty.) I still bet the Braves were facing a Teheran-Robert Gsellman matchup, rather than the more alliterative Teheran-Thor contest.

Something cool about Teheran, though: he is currently in the top 10 among starters for exit velocity, at just 84.2 miles per hour. He’s also first (!!) for exit velocity on non-grounders. Way to make those weak fly balls work for you, Julio! (He’s also in the top 10 for exit velocity for grounders. Just good contact management all around, for now.)

And, of course, the Mets will still have to deal with Freddie Freeman, who currently sits just behind Eric Thames and Bryce Harper in the wRC+ and fWAR races, but eats Mets jerseys for breakfast (reportedly).

Both Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud should make their returns to the New York lineup in tonight’s game, assuming the weather is manageable, so it doesn’t get any easier for the sad-sack Braves, who have lost 11,000 six straight games.

Bonus: Everyone place your bets on: 1) when we first see Lane Adams this season; and, 2) how many times Emilio Bonifacio appears before Adams’ first Braves PA or fielding attempt.

Game Info

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

7:10 pm ET

Citi Field, Queens, NY

TV: Fox Sports South

Radio: Braves Radio Network, 680 Am / 93.7 FM

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