Tonight's pitching matchups in Houston (Niese/Happ)

Jon Niese (2-0, 2.81 ERA) will start for the Mets. Niese has allowed three earned runs or less in all four of his starts so far this year, and has gone at least six innings in each of his starts as well. He’s coming off a strong effort against the Marlins in which he allowed two runs in seven innings. Niese is making his fourth career start against the Astros tonight, and he’s 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings against them.

J.A. Happ (1-1, 4.70 ERA) will start for the Astros. Happ had a bumpy outing his last time out against the Brewers when he allowed four runs in five innings, although he did strike out eight in that game to give him 24 strikeouts in 23 innings this season. Happ is making his ninth career appearance and seventh start against the Mets tonight, and he’s 2-2 with a 4.82 ERA in 37 1/3 innings against them.


Michael Baron: As was the case with Dickey last night, Niese could find himself susceptible to the home run ball at Minute Maid Park, especially with his cutter which runs in towards the right-handed hitter. I would expect him to utilize his curveball more and work the outside part of the plate with it so to induce lazy fly balls the other way. With that said, he can exercise his cutter against Houston’s left-handed hitters while also utilizing his curve in towards their hands.