Dodgers vs. Mets Odds, Preview, Prediction: This Prop Has Value on Friday Night (August 13)
Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Urías (left) and Tylor Megill.
- Two playoff hopefuls face off on Friday night in Queens when the Mets host the Dodgers.
- Julio Urías is set to toe the rubber for Los Angeles opposite Tylor Megill, both of whom are enjoying strong seasons by their standards.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and makes his pick for the game below.
Dodgers vs. Mets Odds
|Time||Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings|
There’s a lot of big name ballplayers squaring off in Queens this week. And, there’s a lot of big-name ballplayers on the injured list, too.
Dodgers players dealing with injuries include Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Danny Duffy, Clayton Kershaw and others are out for the season. Meanwhile, the Mets' list of injured players include Javier Báez, Francisco Lindor, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and others who are (you guessed it) out for the season.
However, I would still expect great baseball in this series. Both these teams are trailing in their respective divisions and hungry for playoff baseball.
So, which team has value in the opener? Let’s dig in.
Dodgers Need Health, Uptick from Stars
The Dodgers are looking like their normal selves after winning four of their last five and seven of their last 10.
Over the past 30 days, the Dodgers boast a top-10 offense via wRC+ (112, seventh in MLB) and a top-10 pitching staff via FIP (3.60, fourth in MLB). Meanwhile, they’re 12th in MLB this season in defensive runs saved (20), so there’s really no weaknesses in this roster.
Except for the fact they’re 4 1/2 games behind the Giants. That begs the question: What can the Dodgers do better?
They could get healthy, which they’re starting to do. Cody Bellinger is back in the lineup every day, and the additions of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner bring needed reinforcements and further stack the roster.
Betts could start heating up again, which he’s starting to do. Since July 1, he is hitting .373 with a 1.142 OPS, five doubles, seven home runs and Gold Glove Award-caliber defensive plays out of position.
Mookie Betts makes a diving play at second base! pic.twitter.com/uPnv5VowIB
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 4, 2021
In my opinion, the Dodgers just need to keep playing excellent baseball and success will continue to find them, whether that means a wild-card game or not.
Starting pitcher: Julio Urías (LHP)
Urías has been monumental in the middle of the Dodgers’ rotation. He eats up innings (5 2/3 per start in 23 starts) while posting excellent statistics (3.41 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) and advanced statistics (3.48 xERA, 3.58 xFIP). Plus, the Dodgers are 17-6 in games he’s started.
Moreover, Urías has only gotten better as the season has gone on. Since July 1, Urías has posted a 2.18 ERA while allowing a .597 OPS against, pitching close to six innings per start and posting a 4-0 record.
The southpaw has a very simple three pitch mix, relying on a four-seam fastball about half the time while mixing in a curveball and changeup. His curveball has been especially dangerous this season, which might explain why he’s thrown it more as the seasons have progressed:
This season, batters are posting just a .155 BA and a .186 wOBA on Urías’ curve. The curveball moves horizontally much more than the average curveball and the spin rate has stayed relatively consistent despite the breakdown on foreign substances:
I wouldn’t expect any regression on Urías’ curveball, either. He’s allowing just an 81 mph average exit velocity on the pitch while batters are posting a 28.2% whiff rate.
Urías is poised to be a force for the rest of the season.
The Mets Are Hanging in There
The Mets really needed to play the Nationals.
If you’re a Mets fan, I would be thanking the baseball gods for Pete Alonso and the Nationals' depleted bullpen. After blowing a 4-1 lead late in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, Alonso did this:
PETE ALONSO WALKS IT OFF FOR A METS WIN AND DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP[💪💪💪 pic.twitter.com/mipnnYXwAZ
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2021
The homer finished a New York sweep of Washington and has gotten the Mets potentially headed in the right direction. After a devastating slump where the Mets' playoff hopes almost looked dash, they’re now just a half-game back of Philadelphia.
The offense has been solid, posting an above average wRC+ (104) and wOBA (.320) over the past 30 days. However, the pitching staff – which is normally lights out – has been pitiful in recent weeks.
Luckily, they have one of their brighter young stars on the mound for tonight’s opener.
Starting pitcher: Tylor Megill (RHP)
The amazing part about Megill’s season is that he might be due for some positive regression.
The rookie has posted a 3.20 ERA in nine starts since being called up, but his xERA is down at 2.80, which ranks among the top 20 qualified pitchers in baseball this season. Here’s the difference between his wOBA and xwOBA on his three main pitches this season:
Of course, there’s also an argument that he could negatively regress. He’s posted a .271 BABIP and an 82.9% strand rate, both numbers that should regress back to league average. Moreover, he’s posted a FIP and xFIP close to 4.00, maybe because he’s allowed 1.4 HR/9 this season.
My opinion: Megill’s performed right around where he should be performing. It’s been a remarkable season for this young arm, and Mets fans should be ecstatic with what they’ve uncovered.
The Mets have desperately needed Megill’s services, too. With major injuries across the Mets rotation — most notably to DeGrom — Megill has kept the Mets playoff hopes alive, especially since they’re 6-3 in his starts this season.
When looking at first-inning props, I try to target overachieving pitchers and underachieving offenses. This strategy has found value specifically in first-inning unders.
With injuries at the top of both lineups and two overachieving pitchers, this looks like an excellent No Runs First Inning (NRFI) spot.
Since July 1, these two pitchers are a combined 11-3 to the NRFI. Meanwhile, the Mets are the 21st highest scoring first running team in MLB at home (.46 first inning home runs per game) while the Dodgers are the 22nd on the road (.41 first inning runs per road game).
But, given the big names in both lineups, and the slightly less-known names on the mound, DraftKings is offering us the NRFI at close to even money. I see this as great value, and will happily bet on the starting pitchers to collect six quick outs at the beginning of the game.
Pick: Total First Inning — Under 0.5 (-110)