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Sunday MLB Mets vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Los Angeles to Come Alive Early (August 22)

Sunday MLB Mets vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Los Angeles to Come Alive Early (August 22) article feature image

Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price.

  • The New York Mets take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sunday's Major League Baseball action.
  • David Price takes the hill for Los Angeles, which looks to continue New York's lengthy run of disappointment.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup below and dishes out his top pick.

Mets vs. Dodgers Odds

Mets Odds+165
Dodgers Odds-195
Time4:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday morning via DraftKings.

"It was all good just a week ago."

That lyric was popularized by the rapper Jay-Z, and it pretty much sums up how things have changed for the New York Mets in terms of their playoff chances. New York finds itself seven games out of first place in the division, and seven games out of the final National League wild-card spot.

Injuries to the starting rotation have beset the Mets, and none has been more devastating than the loss of Jacob deGrom. New York was always going to go as far as their ace would take them, and the mere announcement of his injury had a debilitating effect on the team's chances.

The Mets are mired in a 1-8 slump, with six losses coming against the Dodgers. What's interesting about that head-to-head series is that four of those losses were by a run. Thus, if you just looked at the season series results, you might miss the fact New York has been fairly competitive in these games. However, it's just like the Mets to delude their fanbase long enough to make them think they have a chance to win these contests, only to lose at the end of the day.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers go for the season sweep with David Price on the mound. New York pitcher Marcus Stroman will oppose Price. If the Mets were ever going to win a game against the Dodgers, perhaps it'd be this meeting.

However, the Los Angeles hitters have had some success against Stroman, whereas New York has struggled against Price. Let's examine this matchup and see if there's enough to justify a play on either side.

New York Giving Stroman Little Run Support

The Mets have wasted perhaps the best statistical season of Stroman's career. The diminutive right-hander is 8-12 overall, with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Though his 3.53 FIP and 3.59 xFIP point to some regression, both would still be considered to be above average.

Per Baseball Savant, Stroman has a six-pitch arsenal and throws four of them at least 15% of the time. His complete mix includes a sinker (43.8%); slider (20.9%); cutter (16%); splitter (15.1%); four-seamer (3.1%); and, a curveball (1.1%) on the mound.

It's refreshing to see a pitcher with an arsenal that fully complements his approach to opposing hitters. Stroman's entire aim is to pitch down in the zone, and his pitch selection allows him to do just that, as evidenced by his 1.84 GB/FB ratio. In addition, he's been able to command his pitches when you consider his 2.13 BB/9 ratio. He's also been able to keep the ball inside the park, given his 0.90 HR/9 ratios.

With such numbers, It's hard to imagine that Stroman's win percentage is under .500. Yet, getting the necessary run support is something the Mets haven't provided to their best pitchers. This is something deGrom knows all too well, but since he's sidelined, perhaps it's Stroman's turn to get the same treatment.

While this will be Stroman's second career start against Los Angeles, four of the Dodgers' players have a combined .360 / .433 / .400 line against him in 25 at-bats.

Price Doing Everything for Los Angeles

The Dodgers have asked Price to fill a variety of roles. He started in the bullpen and operated as a long reliever, plus he's been a setup man and closer. Now, with as many as five starters on the injury list, Price is back as a starter. Overall, he's 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Like Stroman, Price's 4.03 FIP and 4.08 xFIP are higher than his ERA, which means he's a regression candidate.

This season, trying to assess his ability isn't as straightforward given the many roles he's had to take up for the Dodgers. Per FanGraphs, his 7.54 K/9 ratio is the third-lowest of his career, but his 1.89 GB/FB ratio is the second-highest since 2012. In the last five seasons, his previous high was a 1.29 GB/FB ratio.

It's worth noting that Price opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, so 2019 was his last season in the majors. That year, he featured his four-seam fastball 27.5% of the time, but this season, his most used pitch has been his sinker (31%). That commitment has resulted in an increase of ground balls, doing well to escape danger when you consider teams have a .176 / .263 / .235 line against him in high-leverage situations.

Although he'll be facing New York for just the second time in his career, the Mets have four players who have stepped in the batter's box against him. In 52 at-bats, the lineup has a .154 / .200 / .231 line with a .077 ISO.

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Mets-Dodgers Pick

If you're looking to play the Mets, I think you have to consider them on the run line. New York hasn't shown any sign they can do enough to secure a win against the Dodgers. Keep in mind the Dodgers will bat last in every inning since they're the home team.

I think this game comes down to which offense you trust more. The Dodgers are tied for the majors' longest current winning streak (nine) as well. They're right back in contention for the division, trailing the Giants by just 1.5 games.

As a result, I don't want any part of the Mets in this spot. Instead, I'd look back to Los Angeles on the run line in the first five innings.

This season, the Dodgers are 5-1 against the Mets this spot and 4-0 in the last four games.

Historically, they're also 33-22 for 7.42 units in this spot.

That said, I'm shopping around for an offering of a 0.5 run line with the Dodgers somewhere in the neighborhood of -130 odds, so I'll look to place my action where I can find that number.

Pick: Dodgers F5 RL -0.5 (-130)

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