Niese was outstanding in his last start against the Nationals, allowing just five hits with seven strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Niese has now walked two batters or less in 14 consecutive outings, and has just 38 walks in 152 innings this year. The Astros roughed Niese up for five runs in three innings back on May 1 - he is 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.
Jordan Lyles (2-10, 5.70 ERA) will start for the Astros tonight.
Lyles was roughed up for seven runs in four innings against the Diamondbacks in his last start. Lyles has allowed 116 baserunners and 19 home runs in only 102 2/3 innings of work this season, and opponents have hit .293 against him in 18 starts. Lyles is making his first career appearance against the Mets tonight.
Niese is a part of the small handful of bright spots on this Mets team at the moment. He has been outstanding in his last two starts, and really dating back to the fourth inning of his start against Miami a few weeks ago. Since that point, he has done a fantastic job of using and commanding both his curveball and his cutter, and that mixture has helped to make him more unpredictable as this season has progressed. Considering his troubles in the second half over his career, his ability to maintain his stamina as well improve his game to this point is a very encouraging sign going forward.