Tuesday night, the holders of the two best National League records open a three-game series at Citi Field in Queens. The Los Angeles Dodgers visit the New York Mets in an NLCS preview.
Here’s the top of the MLB rankings as of Tuesday morning:
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 89-38
- Houston Astros: 82-47 (8GB)
- New York Mets: 82-47 (8GB)
- Atlanta Braves: 79-50 (11GB)
- New York Yankees: 78-51 (12GB)
“It is important,” Mets co-ace Max Scherzer told MLB.com about the Dodgers streak. “They’ve had a great season so far in what they’ve been able to do. You play this game to face the best. Obviously they were one of the best teams in all of baseball. For them town, you want to hit them. It’s a great opportunity for us, a great challenge for us to go out there and face them.
Here are the details for this week’s three-game series in New York. Selected games can be streamed fuboTV (Try it for free).
Tuesday, August 30th
7:10 p.m. ET
LHP Andrew Heaney (2-1, 1.94) vs. RHP Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.38)
SNY, SportsNet LA, TBS
Wednesday 31 August
7:10 p.m. ET
LHP Tyler Anderson (13-2, 2.69) vs. RHP Jacob deGrom (3-1, 2.15)
SNY, SportsNet LA, MLB Network
Thu, Sept 1
4:10 p.m. ET
RHP Dustin May (1-1, 1.64) vs. RHP Chris Bassitt (11-7, 3.34)
SNY, SportsNet LA
With Scherzer missing the streak (he pitched on Sunday) and both Walker Buehler (Tommy John surgery) and Clayton Kershaw (back) injured, pitching matchups lack star power but it’s hard to complain, if a 3.38 ERA is that worst among the six pitchers planned. These two teams are stacked. It’s no coincidence that they top the National League standings.
“It will be a good series for the fans” Mets manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com. “You’re not necessarily looking forward to it. What you’re looking forward to is competing against a really good team.”
Here are three things to know about this week’s Dodgers vs. Mets series at Citi Field, with a good measure prediction.
1. The season series even
The Dodgers and Mets shared four games in Los Angeles in June, and the running difference was one plus 1 in favor of New York. It was a balanced series. Here are the notes:
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has crushed the Dodgers throughout his career, particularly at Dodger Stadium, and he went deep three times in that four-game streak. Buehler allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings in that June 4 game. It was his penultimate start of the season before he required elbow surgery.
The Dodgers have a solid lead for the best MLB record, so the chances of the tiebreaker coming into play are slim, but it’s worth noting that this week’s series winner should win the season series, giving them home field advantage, if the two clubs finish with identical records and meet in the post-season. Again, it’s unlikely, but I’d rather have the tiebreaker than not.
2. Timmy Trumpet will be there
Mets closer Edwin Díaz is enjoying a dominant season — he’s beaten exactly half the batters he faced — and every time he steps into a game at Citi Field, his opening song “Narco” electrifies the crowd. It’s pretty much the scene:
Timmy Trumpet, the Australian musician who teamed up with Dutch duo Blasterjaxx to create Narco, will be available for Tuesday’s game..
“Nothing makes me happier” Mr. Trumpet told MLB.com that Díaz used his song to bring the Citi Field crowd to life. “That’s exactly what this song was meant for.”
Díaz last pitched on Friday, so he’ll certainly go into Tuesday’s game well rested. There’s even a chance he’ll step in in an unsafe situation just to get some work to stay sharp. And when it does, the crowd will be treated to a live version of Narcos.
3. Who’s hot, who’s not
The baseball season is long and full of ups and downs. As a result, some players enter this week’s series at a peak, while others are stuck at a trough. Here are three Mets players who have been at their best over the past two weeks:
Canha has three home runs in his last nine games, all from late-inning shots, after hitting three home runs in his previous 66 games. He recently told The Athletic He made a mechanical adjustment to the plate not long ago, specifically expanding his stance, and it has helped him rediscover his power punch.
On the other hand, Alonso (.218/.271/.345) and fellow All-Star Francisco Lindor (.228/.290/.316) are entering the Dodgers series after plummeting over the past two weeks. Now here are three Dodgers players at the top of their game:
The stalwart Justin Turner has turned things around after his slow start, hitting 0.333/0.407/0.458 over the past two weeks. Even then, the Dodgers have something of a top-heavy lineup. Betts, Turner and Freeman (the 1-2-3 hitters) went into play Monday and hit a combined .307/.368/.520. The rest of the Dodgers get .242/.323/.420, which is above average but not out of this world.
Cody Bellinger (.205/.289/.333) and Chris Taylor (.216/.302/.378) are the Dodgers’ two notable hitters who haven’t had much success over the past two weeks.
This really is a heavyweight matchup. It might be the best and most compelling series we see in the entire regular season. For our prediction, I’ll go with that Dodgers win two out of three. Los Angeles is a step ahead of the rest of the league, including the Mets, and I’d be tempted to predict a sweep if deGrom didn’t start Wednesday. Should be an exciting series. I like Los Angeles a little more right now.
https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mets-dodgers-prediction-tv-channel-three-things-to-know-as-national-league-powerhouses-square-off/ Mets-Dodgers: Prediction, TV stations, three things to know as National League powerhouses go head-to-head