Mets vs Dodgers

Mets vs Dodgers MLB | Cy Young Candidate Buehler On Mound For L.A.

One of the more hyped series of the season and one that should do huge TV ratings and betting action is the New York Mets opening a four-game set at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night – the lone late game on the schedule. The Dodgers are heavy favorites on the MLB odds behind NL Cy Young contender Walker Buehler.

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Why Bet on New York?

New Mets owner Steve Cohen has had enough of his team’s offensive struggles. New York is near the bottom in most offensive categories despite a lineup that boasts multiple former All-Stars.

“It’s hard to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive. The best teams have a more disciplined approach. The slugging and OPS numbers don’t lie,” Cohen tweeted on Wednesday.

The Mets’ .380 slugging percentage ranks 26th in the league and their .693 OPS is 24th. The Mets fired hitting coach Chili Davis in early May after a sluggish first month of the season. He was replaced by Hugh Quattlebaum. Ironically, Cohen has spent months preaching patience to frustrated Mets fans on Twitter.

It’s scheduled to be Taijuan Walker on the mound. Walker (7-7) carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning but was not involved in the decision after allowing a run on two hits over 6 2/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Dodgers last Saturday.

Ultimately, Walker fell victim to the long ball yet again when Will Smith ended Walker’s bid for history with a solo homer that broke up the no-no and the shutout. The right-hander would allow another hit in the form of a Corey Seager double and a walk before manager Luis Rojas emerged from the dugout to take the ball. Aaron Loup entered the game in relief of Walker, and promptly struck out Cody Bellinger to strand two runners on base and get out of the jam.

Walker entered the game with a NL-worst 6.70 ERA in his last nine starts and 10 home runs allowed in his last four appearances but struck out eight Dodgers thanks to his splitter, which earned him seven of his 14 swings and misses. Of the four pitches that Walker threw at least 10 times, each one produced a higher average velocity compared to his annual average. The fastball had the greatest difference, with Walker’s four-seamer averaging 95.4 MPH. Over the course of 2021, Walker has thrown that same pitch on average at 94.4 MPH

“I thought it was pretty good in my last outing and it carried over to this one,” said Walker of his splitter. “They were swinging and missing at it so I kept throwing it. … I’ve been going in the right direction the last couple weeks. I haven’t gotten the results I wanted, but arm wise, velocity-wise I’ve been feeling good.”

Walker now carries a 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 117 2/3 frames with 110 punchouts.

Why Bet on Los Angeles?

The Dodgers remain without superstar outfielder and former AL MVP Mookie Betts, although he is on track to resume baseball activities on Thursday. Betts got an injection over the weekend for the inflammation in his right hip, which is related to a bone spur, and it has helped him move past some of the lingering discomfort. The Dodgers have not set a timetable for Betts’ return, and Manager Dave Roberts previously noted it largely is predicated on pain tolerance.

It’s Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler on the mound here and he was opposite the Mets’ Taijuan Walker last Saturday. Buehler struck out 10 over seven innings of one-run ball but was not involved in the decision as the Dodgers defeated the Mets 2-1 in extra innings. Buehler hit a double-digit strikeout total for the third time this season. The lone run that he yielded came on a Michael Conforto solo homer, the first long ball Buehler has allowed since June 24.

Buehler generated a 33 percent whiff rate across his six-pitch arsenal and earned a 58 percent CSW on his knuckle curve during the outing. It was the 10th time this season he’s gone at least seven innings and the sixth time he’s done it while allowing one run or less.

Buehler is currently having a career year. In addition to his ERA and win total among league leaders, he’s fifth in the NL in strikeouts (163), fifth in WHIP (0.94) and fifth in opponents average (.189). He’s also second in innings pitched with 154 2⁄3. One of his newer weapons is the occasional changeup. Buehler’s only thrown the pitch 2.8 percent of the time this season. Buehler threw zero changeups last season and only 13 in 2019. Opposing batters have three singles in 12 at-bats that end with Buehler’s changeup this season.

“I’m just trying to work on what I do, and implement whatever I can,” Buehler said. “The changeup has been a little bit of a new wrinkle we’ve added in, and I think it’s helping a lot.”

Game Trends

  • Mets are 1-6 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.
  • Mets are 2-5 in their last 7 Thursday games.
  • Mets are 17-41 in the last 58 meetings.
  • Dodgers are 36-15 in their last 51 Thursday games.
  • Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Los Angeles.

Expert Prediction

  • Dodgers 5, Mets 2

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