5 things to watch as Mets and Rays play three-game series, including Christian Scott's debut

Here are five things to watch as the Mets and Rays play a three-game series in Tampa...

Christian Scott's debut

News came out on Thursday that Scott is getting the start on Saturday in what will be his big league debut, adding an injection of electricity into this series.

Scott, 24, had reached the point where it no longer made sense to keep him in Triple-A, where he had a 3.20 ERA and 0.71 WHIP with 37 strikeouts across 25.1 innings.

The likelihood is that Scott has about 100 innings left this year before hitting his limit, so having him up in the majors is the right move -- and it will come as the team goes to a six-man rotation.

Featuring a fastball that will touch 97 mph, a nasty (and relatively new) sweeper, a slider, and a split-changeup, Scott told SNY last month that he felt ready for the majors. And now he gets his chance.

"When I came to the Mets system, I was really a two-pitch guy. Didn’t have a changeup, didn’t really have a big out pitch per se," Scott told SNY about his arsenal. "Just working with the staff and developing me and my stuff. Having a changeup now and adding a sweeper – just having confidence in that and going out and attacking the strike zone every time I get the ball.”

Francisco Lindor has been hitting well for longer than you think

Much has been made of the ebbs and flows of Lindor's season following his really tough start at the plate, and his gutsy performance on Thursday -- when he drove in four runs, including the winning runs in extras -- came with him still shaking off a nasty stomach bug.

And many are citing Thursday as his breakout.

While Lindor had a big day, and did it under difficult circumstances, the truth is that he's been hitting the tar out of the ball since April 14.

In his 17 games, Lindor is slashing .302/.353/.571 with four homers, five doubles, and 13 RBI.

He is on pace to finish the season with 26 homers.

Pete Alonso is ice cold

Unlike Lindor, Alonso is mired in a rut.

Over his last seven games, Alonso is 1-for-24 with eight strikeouts, and has seen his triple slash drop to .218/.309/.445.

Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor celebrate with a chest bump with Brandon Nimmo in the foreground

Alonso has hit just two home runs in his last 20 games dating back to April 11.

Perhaps going home to Tampa for this series will help the Polar Bear awaken.

Mets still undermanned in the bullpen

The Mets' bullpen has continued to excel, but they're still without two key cogs -- and one of them could be gone for a while.

Brooks Raley, who was initially expected to return on May 5 when first eligible, has suffered a setback and has no timeline to return.

In better news, Drew Smith remains on track to return right around when he's eligible, which is May 9.

In the absence of Raley and Smith, Edwin Diaz, Reed Garrett, Adam Ottavino, Jorge Lopez, and Jake Diekman have continued to excel in the late innings.

Meanwhile, Sean Reid-Foley has been terrific since returning from the IL, striking out nine in five innings over five scoreless appearances.

The Rays are spiraling

The Rays are going through it right now.

Tampa is 2-8 over its last 10 games, are in last place in the American League East, and have a -43 run differential -- the second-worst mark in the AL.

Randy Arozarena hitting .139 with a .455 OPS so far is not helping things, and the Rays are also dealing with some injury issues.

They are without closer Pete Fairbanks and key lineup cog Josh Lowe, who had an .835 OPS last season.

One bright spot for Tampa so far has been former Met Amed Rosario, who is hitting .295 with a .734 OPS.