Although the Mets need to beat Clayton Kershaw for the second time in this series, they may be up to that task with young southpaw Steven Matz on the mound vs. the Dodgers.
The home team is just one win away from advancing to the NLCS, but first it must try and beat the two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner as Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodger try to keep their season alive vs. young fellow southpaw Steven Matz and the New York Mets in Game 4 of the NLCS from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS, with New York leading the best-of-five series 2-1.
The posted money line at Bet365 has New York as a decided home underdog for this contest at current odds of +140.
Profound Statement in Game 3
The Mets were already the winning MLB picks once vs. Kershaw in this series beating him 3-1 in Game 1, and New York very nearly knocked off the Dodgers’ Big Two both on the road, having Zack Greinke on the ropes in Game 2 before the now infamous take-out slide by Chase Utley and then Los Angeles probably getting help on what looked like a bad replay reversal by the umpires on that play.
The Mets went on to lose that contest 5-2 out west, but unfazed, they came home with their bats blazing for Game 3 Monday, winning 13-7 in a game that was not even that close as New York led 13-4 entering the ninth inning before the Dodgers tacked on three meaningless runs. Now this Game 4 becomes the most important game of the season for both teams, as the Mets would like to avoid going back to Los Angeles to face Greinke again.
Tough if Not Nervous
The Mets are rolling with the rookie southpaw Matz, but as long as he can handle the pressure of the moment, he certainly showed why he may be the next on the long line of great pitchers to come up through the Mets’ organization in recent years during the regular season, allowing three runs or less in all six of his Major League starts including hurling six scoreless innings at these Dodgers while allowing just two hits with eight strikeouts in Los Angeles!
Matz finished 4-0 in those six outings with a 2.27 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in his 35.1 Major League innings. It also helps his cause that the Dodgers are batting just .228 in their last 10 games, and remember also that Los Angeles was actually a sub-.500 team on the road during the regular season at 37-44 compared to going 55-26 back at Dodger Stadium.
Well Chronicled Post-Season Struggles
With the loss in Game 1, Kershaw is now 1-6 lifetime in the playoffs, which seems unfathomable for one of the best pitchers in the game and a pitcher that has won the Cy Young Award three of the last four years including the last two in a row. To be fair though, he has not necessarily pitched bad in those post-season losses and Game 1 was another example of that as he while he was charged with three runs in 6.2 innings, those runs scored after he departed.
However, this game could be another case of déjà vu, as despite his limited experience in the big leagues, the lefty Matz is another pitcher that can keep the struggling Dodger bats quiet and match Kershaw pitch-for-pitch until the two bullpens get involved. And that is one area where the Mets have the clear edge in this series.
Trending the Underdogs
The Mets have now won four of the last five meetings with the Dodgers overall, including winning games started by both Kershaw and Greinke during this span. The Mets are also 25-8 in their last 33 games after scoring five runs or more in their previous game, while the Dodgers are 4-16 in their last 20 playoff road games.
Look for those patterns to continue in what should be the final game of the year for Los Angeles, as we expect Matz and the Mets to pull the upset and send Kershaw and the Dodgers packing in Game 4 of the NLDS in Flushing on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Mets +140