New York Mets Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers (6/22-6-24)

The New York Mets had a disappointing end to their road trip, but return home to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets went 3-7 on their road trip and finally saw their bats come back to life. Unfortunately, the Mets pitching suffered badly in the hitter friendly conditions in Colorado. The Dodgers had a disappointing start to their season but they have a 38-35 record and are 2.5 games out of first place. The Mets lost all seven games they played against the Dodgers last season.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

(6/22, 7:10 PM) Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA)

(6/23, 7:15 PM) Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (5-2, 1.51 ERA)

(6/24, 1:10 PM) Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (2-6, 8.60 ERA)

Hitting, But No Pitching

The Mets finally figured out how to score some runs on the road trip, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. They played in two very hitter friendly environments and have not hit well when they return to Citi Field. Jacob deGrom was able to put together a terrific start in Colorado because he is on another level right now. The Mets should look to take advantage of sub-par pitching and Kershaw opting to make a MLB start right off the DL.

The Mets made some roster moves after their final game in Colorado. They sent down Chris Flexen and Paul Sewald to Triple-A and moved A.J. Ramos to the 60-day DL. Hansel Robles was designated for assignment which made room for Kevin Kaczmarski and Drew Smith on the Mets roster. Kaczmarski was hitting .346 and Smith had a 2.88 ERA before being called up.

Dodgers Ace Has Returned

Around 5:30 on Friday, the Dodgers announced Clayton Kershaw is opting to pitch Saturday against Jacob deGrom instead of taking a rehab start. He was originally scheduled to come back on June 28 from a back injury. Kershaw vs. deGrom has the makings of a pitcher’s duel, but in his last start before heading to the DL, Kershaw’s velocity was down. He did not hit 90 mph at any point for the first time in his career.

The Dodgers have had their fair share of injuries cost them this season. Pedro Baez, Corey Seager and Kershaw headline just a few of the names that have spent time on the shelf this season. Met nemesis Chase Utley will be activated for this weekend’s series and will receive his typical welcome from the Mets fans. Matt Kemp has been healthy this season and has seen a resurgence in his game. He is hitting .322 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs and has slowly returned to the Matt Kemp of old.

Matchups to Lookout For

Chase Utley vs. Jacob deGrom: 4-17 (.235) Double, 4 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Wilmer Flores vs. Clayton Kershaw: 3-15 (.200) 4 Strikeouts

Chase Utley vs. Zack Wheeler: 4-15 (.267) Double, Home Run, Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Wilmer Flores vs. Alex Wood: 5-14 (.357) 2 Doubles, Home Run, 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Matt Kemp w/RISP in 2018: 20-49 (.408) 3 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 5 Walks, 9 Strikeouts

Michael Conforto at Citi Field in 2018: 13-88 (.148) Double, 2 Home Runs, 13 Walks, 28 Strikeouts