The Dodgers visit the Big Apple tonight for the start of a three-game set against the Mets. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field in New York City with L.A. sending Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA) to the hill to oppose the Mets Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82). NL Preview and Free Pick: LA Dodgers at NY Mets.
The Dodgers (-145, 7.5) benefited from a soft portion of their 2018 schedule to execute a 22-7 run of success before meeting a club at their talent level on the northside of Chicago. LA combined to plate just one run in the last two games against the Cubs.
The Mets return home off a 3-7 road trip. The 10 game portion of their June schedule saw them lose the final three at Coors Field in Colorado. The pitching staff, starter and bullpen, relinquished a total of 26 runs in the three losses.
Wood pitched 5.2 innings against the Giants on Saturday, giving up just one run on four hits. He had but two strikeouts but he has been, when reviewing his underlying work, better than his 4.22 ERA. His 1.18 WHIP in 74.2 innings is evidence of his elevated earned run average. Wood has allowed at least four runs in each of his last three outings and had failed to pitch more than 4.2 innings in either of his last two starts. But misfortune has been a recent calling — he not only gets a Mets lineup that ranks at the bottom of efficiency versus left-handed pitching in all of baseball his 4.22 ERA is trumped by his 3.43 xFIP and 3.49 SIERA. In addition his 63% strand rate is well below his career clip of 74.6%.
Wood presents value and upside in tonight’s matchup at Citi Field. Wood’s arsenal and tendencies are a plus at pitcher-friendly Citi. And he opposes an offense that has done little to zero against LHP this season. Wood The lefty faces a Mets lineup that strike out over 23% against southpaws.
Although Wheeler has shown some improvement from his porous start to the season… this covering his last eight starts… he still sports a 4.24 ERA that includes 48 strikeouts and 17 walks in 46 2/3 innings, however he is 0-3 over that stretch of eight starts.
Wheeler has, over the past eight trips to the mound recovered some of his lost velocity. Over those aforementioned eight starts, Wheeler has had three poor ones, two mediocre one, and three solid outings. The totals are as follows: 46 2/3 IP, 45 H, 22 ER, 17 BB, 48 K. That’s an ERA of 4.24 with more than a K per inning. The strikeouts have been his savior and prevented a 5-plus ERA across his last eight affairs.
In addition the Mets are slashing a ridiculously poor .215/.299/.333 with baseball’s worst .632 OPS against left-handed pitching. In 675 at-bats against southpaws the Mets have a grand total of just 15 home runs.
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NL Preview and Free Pick: LA Dodgers at NY Mets