Now sitting atop the NL East, the New York Mets (19-11) will travel up the California coast to face the co-leader of the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers(16-15). Down in the San Diego Padres series 2-0, the Mets bounced back for two straight wins to lead a half game over the Washington Nationals for their first division lead of the season. The Dodgers, on the other hand, are in jeopardy of their lead as they lost six of their last ten. This four-game stint will determine who stays in first and who will be back in the hunt.
7:10 Monday: Steven Matz (4-1, 2.83 ERA) v Scott Kazmir (2-2, 5.68 ERA)
Matz had a brilliant performance yet again in his last start allowing only two total hits and striking out eight in seven and two-thirds inning against the Atlanta Braves. In his last four starts, he has allowed only two earned runs and as gone at least six full innings on top of that. The lefty will have a tough test Monday night, but the way he is throwing the baseball, it may be the other way around in retrospect.
Against the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start, Kazmir earned his second win of the season which was a long drought since his first that came on his season debut. In between that stretch, he didn’t do so well going 0-2 in four starts.
Pitching Edge: Matz is on a tear while Kazmir is not consistent from start to start. Give the edge to Matz to begin the series.
7:10 Tuesday: Jacob deGrom (3-1, 1.99 ERA) v Alex Wood (1-3, 5.18 ERA)
deGrom earned his first loss of the season against the Padres last time around in what wasn’t his best effort. He let up three earned in five innings which is uncommon for him considering he only let up two earned runs total in his previous starts. He will hope to rebound against a tough Dodgers lineup.
Wood has also been struggling of late. He could barely made it through five innings allowing five runs to the Rays. However, he has been fooling some hitters as he fanned seven in his last start and nine in the one before that as well. Wood may go after the Mets hitters early and rack up his strikeout totals.
Pitching Edge: Wood has trouble getting out of jams, and with deGrom determined to make a rebound start, the edge must be given to the away team.
7:10 Wednesday: Noah Syndergaard (2-2 2.58 ERA) v Kenta Maeda (3-1, 1.66 ERA)
Back to back losses have been attributed to Syndergaard who is struggling getting ahead of hitters and keeping runners put on the base paths. Against San Diego last time, he wasn’t as bad giving up two earned through six. The Mets bats didn’t help him in that game, but Syndergaard will have to work though those troubles to try and get back on the winning side of things.
Maeda did a fabulous job in his first month in the MLB accumulating a 3-1 record over five starts. He has gone pretty deep in every one of his start, at least six full innings in every one so far this year. Can he keep that streak alive against the Amazin’s Wednesday night.
Pitching Edge: This will be a great pitchers duel, but give the edge to Maeda who has been hot and shows no sign of cooling down.
7:10 Thursday: Bartolo Colon (3-1, 2.82 ERA) v TBA
Mets fans and the entire baseball world knows what happened last time Colon got the start for the Mets, so needless to say he is riding high at the moment. With a sub-three ERA and 33 strikeouts on the season, Colon is defying all odds and looks like his younger self on the mound.
Pitching Edge: How will Colon one-up his last start? He will be determined to which gives him the edge.
More About This Series
This will be a very crucial series for both teams as mentioned before as they lead their respective divisions. The Mets should not feel content with the Nationals right on their tails. They must take advantage of these away games to try and bring momentum back to Citi Field. The Dodgers, at the same time, will try to stop a skid on their home turf and keep their position as well. It will be a battlefield in LA to start off the new week.