Dodgers vs Mets MLB Prediction Today | Odds, Expert Pick
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Starling Marte and Freddie Freeman.
Dodgers vs. Mets Odds
-105 / -115
-105 / -115
With both teams fresh out of the break, the Mets turn to Justin Verlander while the Dodgers counter with Julio Urias.
Neither pitcher has been at the level they would've hoped for this season, but the offensive matchup for the Dodgers vs. Mets series opener is a far scarier proposition for one than for the other.
The biggest difference between 2022 and 2023 for Urias has been his inability to limit the long ball. While his ERA has literally more than doubled (2.16 to 4.76), his xFIP is basically the exact same (3.81 in 2022 and 4.03 in 2023).
Urias has a 1.00 HR/9 rate for his entire career, but that rate is nearly double that this season (1.96).
The bad news for Urias is that most of that jump appears earned. His barrel rate allowed has jumped notably, as has his xSLG and basically every statistic that takes into account the contact he's allowing.
The biggest change, though (pun intended), has been his changeup against righties. After allowing righties just a .340 slugging percentage on his changeup in 2022 (and never above .370 in a season with more than 20 IP), he's now allowing righties to slug .650 (!) against it this season.
The velocity looks the same, but more importantly, the vertical movement has lessened somewhat notably, per Brooks Baseball.
A changeup that doesn't drop as much is going to get hit, and the five home runs in just 46 AB vs. RHP ending in changeups shows that.
Now, Urias did miss time in May and June due to injury, so I wanted to check if his changeup came back looking better, but it hasn't added more movement in the two games back.
Looking through the Mets' lineup, there are a few candidates to take advantage of Urias and the wind blowing out at Citi Field on Friday night (home runs should be up 24%, per ballparkpal).
This season, Francisco Lindor (8), Tommy Pham (7) and Pete Alonso (7) have all take lefties deep quite often. However, going by pitch type on Brooks Baseball, none of the three has had much success against changeups from southpaws this season.
Pham has a .208 slug against lefty changeups while Alonso sits with a .278 slug. Lindor has the highest at just .368. If we zoom out to the career numbers, all three move to above. 400, but none are above .444. It's a far cry from the best pitch for any of them to take advantage of.
Now, we're rapidly approaching the point of getting too granular with this analysis. However, it does appear that the Mets don't have anyone perfectly suited to take advantage of Urias.
Zoom out a bit, and the Mets — as a whole — have a below average offense against lefties (17th-ranked wRC+ of 99).
The Dodgers, however, are much better suited to take advantage of New York's starter — Verlander — on Friday.
Similar to Urias, Verlander has seen a notable dropoff this season. After posting a 1.75 ERA in Houston last season, his ERA is at 3.60 in his debut season with the Mets.
Most folks would've guessed some regression was coming off that low of an ERA, but his metrics are all up well over a run, which is not a great sign for a pitcher who just turned 40.
The Dodgers have the fourth-best offense in baseball versus righties, but to go one level deeper, they're the fifth-best offense in baseball against fastballs and the second-best against curveballs.
Verlander has seen notable dropoffs in the production of those two main pitches this season, with his FanGraphs pitch value on his fastball down to -0.6 from 26.9 in 2022.
The story is the same with his curveball, down from 8.0 last season to -2.4 this season.
Dodgers vs. Mets Betting Pick
The final piece of the puzzle is the bullpens, which both come out of the All-Star break fully rested.
The Mets were the second-worst bullpen by fWAR in the first half while the Dodgers ranked seventh.
Add it all together, and it's a long walk to a short bet: Dodgers full-game moneyline.
The Dodgers' offense is much better suited to take advantage of Verlander. They're a better offense in general, and they have an edge in the later innings with a far superior bullpen.
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