Dodgers vs Mets Series Preview

In the past two seasons, the Dodgers have had some real offensive displays of power against the Mets. Memory recalls a rout against Robert Gsellman in 2017. In 2018, the Dodgers were 4-2 against the Metropolitans, including a game where the Dodgers set a record with 7 home runs. Those home runs were all solo shots. This series is going to be quite fun for the pitching matchups, particularly the first game.

Monday, May 27th

deGrom v. Kershaw

Jacob deGrom is obviously coming off his absurd Cy Young year, where he was absolutely filthy. He’s not been as unstoppable in 2019, which is impressive considering he’s still been very good. He’s still got 75 strikeouts in 58 innings, but his home run totals have gone up from the absurdly low numbers from last year. He was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA against LA last year. Let’s see how the Dodgers have stacked up against deGrom in their history.

As to be expected, nobody has a lot of success against deGrom. There’s one that surprised me. Justin Turner’s line against deGrom is absolutely miserable. On paper it makes sense. Elite (maybe the best behind Scherzer) right handed pitcher against right handed hitter. Still, you’d think a hitter like Justin Turner would have a few hits. That one hit though, was a home run. Chris Taylor and Corey Seager have both had a little success, though. I foresee Alex Verdugo doing well against deGrom.

Clayton Kershaw‘s change in results have been parsed ad nauseam. In 2019 his FIP is a little high at 3.69, and his ERA is 3.33. He’s still posting almost a strikeout per inning, and he’s got a 4-0 record. Clayton Kershaw’s true issue is still the long ball, which he’s giving up at 1.4 per 9 innings. Let’s see how the Mets have fared in their career versus King Kershaw.

The good news is that other than ‘old man’ Todd Frazier, nobody on the Mets has really done well against Kershaw either. Todd Frazier’s success has been in small sample size, anyway. Look for Clayton Kershaw to look vintage on Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 28th

Matz v. Hill

Steven Matz has a 1.366 WHIP, 4.64 WHIP, with 45 strikeouts in 44 innings. He’s got good stuff, but his numbers have always screamed mediocrity. In 2019 though, he’s been pretty consistent, especially lately. In his last 5 outings he’s got a 2.86 ERA. Let’s see how the Dodgers have matched up against Matz in their career.

Some good numbers in there vs. Matz. I’m looking for Kiké to break out of his slump against Matz. Kiké is a perfect candidate against the lefty.

Rich Hill has now started putting up really good numbers. In his last two starts, he’s allowed 1 run with 17 strikeouts over 12 innings. Dick Mountain is just now reaching his apex. How have the Mets fared agains Rich Hill in the past?

Not a lot of numbers against him, actually. The exception there is Michael Conforto. Conforto only has 6 AB’s against him, but he’s got 2 home runs against him. Rich Hill’s key to this game is to keep the ball in the park.

Wednesday, May 29th

Syndergaard v. Buehler

This series gives us another flame-throwing matchup on Wednesday. Both Syndergaard and Buehler have upper 90’s heat, and they’re fun to watch.

Noah Syndergaard has looked less mighty and Thor like lately, and in fact, been downright mortal and puny. He referenced some ‘mental issues’ after allowing 6 runs in 5 innings in his last start, and in his last 9 starts, his ERA has been OVER 5. Whether it’s a mental block or something with his mechanics, Syndergaard has not nearly regained his near Cy Young type stuff from before. Dodgers versus Syndergaard don’t have as many at bats as I thought.

Corey Seager sure likes hitting against Thor in 5 at bats. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of experience from the current Dodgers against Noah Syndergaard.

Walker Buehler had an off start to his 2019, but he’s quietly been very good his last few outings. In his last 3 starts, he’s allowed just 2 earned runs in 19 innings. In that time, he’s had 20 strikeouts to 2 walks. I’m not posting the line the Mets have had against Buehler, because only JD Davis has had any experience, and that’s 2 at bats. Suffice to say, Buehler has the advantage of them not having seen him before.

Thursday, May 30th

Vargas v. Ryu

Don’t let Jason Vargas and his 5.22 ERA fool you–he’s been good lately. In his last 5 outings he’s posted a 2.74 ERA. The veteran lefty is showing he still has some left in the tank. Lucky for the Dodgers, the handful of players who have seen him have good numbers.

David Freese is hitting .455 with 3 home runs against Vargas. If this were a fantasy baseball website, David Freese would be labeled a “must start’ for this game. Other Dodgers only have a maximum of 2 at bats against Vargas.

Hyun-Jin Ryu has been absolutely miraculous in 2019. The Korean Monster has been a monster. His last start may have been the end of his 32 scoreless inning streak, with a season high 10 hits allowed, but don’t let the outlier frighten. Ryu is pitching his best in 2019.

Nobody has any home runs against Ryu, and nobody has more than one hit against them. I think Ryu flirts with more zeros in this outing, and the Dodgers drive this series home in the last game.

Hitters To Watch For

On the New York side of the dugout, lookout for rookie Pete Alonso. He’s been tearing the cover off the ball in terms of power. He’s got 17 home runs, but he’s also striking out. The Dodgers need to leave the ball away from his barrel. On the Dodgers side, look for Kiké to break out. I know this seems like wishful thinking, but the Mets are going to be throwing two lefties at the Dodgers that Kiké should feast on. The lefty trio of Alex Verdugo, Cody Bellinger, and Max Muncy should combine for a huge series.

Justin Turner is the x-factor. He went 5 for 5 on Sunday against Pittsburgh, and when he heats up like that, there’s often a power surge afterwards. I’m looking forward to this series, and the Dodgers will take 3 out 4. Book it.

AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan who grew up in California. His whole family is also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two kids, his guitars, and beagle Kobe.

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  1. Bellinger last night, WOW! What a performance! It overshadowed everything else that happened.

  2. Pederson goes 3-3 in the game last night and the Mets have a LHP, he is pinch-hit for by Hernandez. It worked out well, Hernandez hit a 3-run homerun. Bellinger was awesome with his defensive throws to the catcher and third-base but I would still prefer him at first-base. Did you see Muncy gaffe at first-base, with the shift-on, he almost threw the ball over Seager. He just doesn’t have the knack to play defense. He will cost the Dodgers a game.

    1. Yes, Muncy was a real stiff defensively when he first broke onto the major league club last season. But this season he has looked better to me. But that play you are talking about………..that was actually Kike Hernandez who screwed up that play IMO. Had Kike just gone to second, instead of breaking towards first base, Muncy would have had somewhere to throw the ball. He wanted to throw to second for a force, his only play. at that point. But when Kike broke towards first, that gave Muncy no where to throw the ball and he realized it as he released it. Seager was coming, but with the defensive shift on, he had a long way to come and did not get there in time.

  3. Mets are now implying that the Dodgers are cheating somehow………..After Monday’s loss, a couple Mets told The Post they were concerned the Dodgers were taking some really big swings, almost as if they knew what was coming. They believe the Dodgers are so good at either stealing signs, knowing sequencing patterns of pitchers and arm slots via video that they were onto what Mets pitchers were throwing at times.

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