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Mets face Dodgers in potential postseason preview

The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, and it’s not particularly close, so this should be a good challenge

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Mets (81-47) get ready to take on MLB’s best team, the Dodgers (89-37) for a three-game showdown at Citi Field. The two teams split four games in Los Angeles when they met in June.

The Mets are coming off a series win against the Rockies after taking three of four games. On Thursday, Jacob deGrom retired the first 13 batters he faced and pitched six stellar inning as the Mets took the opener 3-1. The Mets got their first run in the third on a Francisco Lindor ground out, and Colorado’s inability to turn the double play extended the inning long enough for Pete Alonso to hit a mammoth two-run shot. That proved to be the difference, as the Rockies got one back in the sixth off a tiring deGrom on a homer from Ryan McMahon.

Friday’s win was a back-and-forth affair, and one New York took in walk-off fashion 7-6. Bretty Baty hit his first homer at Citi Field, and Starling Marte’s two-run triple built New York’s lead to three runs. Colorado tied it with three in the sixth, but Mark Canha put the Mets back in front with a double that hit off the wall. Colorado’s dropped three on Mychal Givens in the eighth after he relieved Chris Bassitt, but the Mets tied it up on Canha’s two-run double in the eighth. It was Alonso who played hero, hitting a single to drive in the game-winning run.

Saturday was Old Timers’ Day at Citi Field, which the team celebrated by bringing back legends spanning 60 years of Mets’ baseball and retiring Willie Mays’ Number 24 in a surprise announcement. After the alumni were done playing a fun exhibition for the fans, the Mets went out there and took care of business, winning 3-0 behind David Peterson’s six shutout innings. Brandon Nimmo hit a leadoff homer, which was more than enough for the win, but he drove in another run later in the game and scored on Marte’s hit.

The Mets were denied a sweep on Sunday, falling 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel at Citi Field. Max Scherzer was tremendous, tossing seven innings and allowing one earned runs while striking out 11. Unfortunately for the Mets, Germán Márquez was better, pitching seven shutout innings while allowing one hit. The offense didn’t fare much better in two innings against Colorado’s bullpen, collecting just two hits the rest of the way.

The Dodgers took three of four from the Marlins prior to their trip to Citi Field. Los Angeles has played to a .701 winning percentage, putting them on a 113-win pace. That would be the fourth best season in MLB history if they reach that mark.

Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers’ offense sports the best wRC+ (122) and OPS (.792) in baseball while scoring 686 runs—by far the most in the sport. Their pitching isn’t bad, either, as their rotation’s 2.67 ERA is tops in baseball and also the only mark under 3.00. Their bullpen, on the other hand, is slacking, as their 3.08 ERA is only the third-best mark in MLB.

The Dodgers are getting production from all the usual suspects. Mookie Betts leads the club with a 6.2 fWAR while hitting .281/.350/.560 with a team-leading 31 homers and 99 runs scored to go along with a 153 wRC+ in 109 games. Met Killer Freddie Freeman leads the club with a 155 wRC+ while slashing .327/.398/.515 with 16 homers, 91 runs scored, and a 5.7 fWAR in 127 games. Trea Turner is hitting .311/.356/.487 with 18 home runs, a 136 wRC+, and a 5.1 fWAR in 127 games.

Tuesday, August 30: Andrew Heaney vs. Taijuan Walker, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Heaney (2022): 41.2 IP, 62 K, 12 BB, 15 HR, 1.94 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 1.01 WHIP, 0.7 bWAR

In 2012, the Marlins picked Heaney ninth overall in the MLB Draft. Since making his debut in 2014, he pitched to a sub-4.00 ERA just once in a full season (3.49 ERA in 2015 with the Angels). This year, he is having his best year with the Dodgers, pitching to a 1.94 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers. In his last outing against the Brewers, the left-hander matched his season high by pitching 6.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits as he earned his second victory of the year. It was his second straight start with ten strikeouts.

Walker (2022): 117.1 IP, 88 K, 35 BB, 10 HR, 3.38 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 2.3 bWAR

After exiting his start against the Braves with back spasms back on August 10, Walker returned to face the Yankees his last time out. The right-hander went 5.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits. He walked two, struck out three, and allowed a home run to Aaron Judge for the second straight outing against the Yankees. More important than anything, he didn’t seem to show any ill effects from the back spasms and was able to toss 81 pitches (49 of which were strikes). With Atlanta breathing down the Mets’ backs and Carlos Carrasco still recovering from his injury, the Mets can ill afford to have Walker miss any time with an injury, and he remains a vital cog in their rotation.

Wednesday, August 31: Tyler Anderson vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Anderson (2022): 140.2 IP, 111 K, 30 BB, 10 HR, 2.69 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 3.1 bWAR

Anderson is having a career year for Los Angeles, which resulted in the first All Star game nod of his seven-year career. The left-hander has won 13 games against two losses, and his 2.69 ERA is the best mark he’s posted. In his last start, he settled for a no-decision against Miami, going 5 13 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. Prior to that (also against Miami), he went 7.0 innings and allowed one earned run on five hits. He shut out the Mets over 6.0 innings back on June 3 to pick up the victory.

deGrom (2022): 29.1 IP, 46 K, 2 BB, 2 HR, 2.15 ERA, 1.08 FIP, 0.55 WHIP, 1.1 bWAR

It feels like every time deGrom takes the mound, he goes through at least one stretch where he retired between 12 and 16 consecutive batters. His last time out, he retired the first 13 batters he faced and was routinely brilliant. He tired out in his last two innings, eventually giving up a solo home run for the only run he would end up being charged with. He ended up giving up three hits, walking a batter, and striking out nine as he earned his third victory of the season.

Thursday, September 1: Dustin May vs. Chris Bassitt, 4:10 p.m. on SNY

May (2022): 11.0 IP, 13 K, 3 BB, 0 HR, 1.64 ERA, 1.85 FIP, 0.82 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR

May will make his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery on Thursday (though it is worth noting that the Dodgers may choose to pitch Clayton Kershaw on Thursday and push May back to Friday instead). The right-hander has faced Miami twice since his return, shutting them out over 5.0 innings in his season debut on August 20 and allowing two earned runs on five hits over 6.0 innings against the Marlins on August 27.

Bassitt (2022): 148.1 IP, 139 K, 37 BB, 15 HR, 3.34 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 2.9 bWAR

The bulk of the runs against Bassitt in his last outing against the Rockies were concentrated in two innings. He mostly cruised through five innings before allowing three earned runs and facing eight batters in the sixth inning. He then had an incredibly fast seventh inning and was sent back out for the eighth, where he recorded one out and allowed one hit before being pulled. The runner he left on base eventually came around to score, so he ended up being charged with four earned runs on eight hits, with one walk and one strikeout over 7 13 innings. The most important thing was that he was able to pitch deep into the game, which has become something the Mets can rely on Bassitt for. This will prove to be huge down the stretch as the team tries to save their bullpen for the playoffs and not overwork their relievers.

Prediction: The Mets drop two of three to the Dodgers.


How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Dodgers?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    The Mets assert their dominance with a sweep over MLB’s best!
    (19 votes)
  • 41%
    The Mets win the series by taking two of three games.
    (98 votes)
  • 28%
    The Mets take one but drop two against Los Angeles.
    (68 votes)
  • 7%
    The Mets are no match for the mighty Dodgers as they’re swept.
    (19 votes)
  • 14%
    (35 votes)
239 votes total Vote Now