We're taking a very early look at Game 2 of the NLDS between the Mets & Dodgers, and predicting the baseball odds for their playoff matchup and giving our MLB picks.
The last time the New York Mets were in the playoffs, they had to go through the Los Angeles Dodgers first to get to the NLCS. New York swept that 2006 NLDS, but was starting the series on its own turf instead of traveling nearly 2,800 miles west to begin this series.
Both teams were getting 5/2 MLB futures odds to win the National League Pennant earlier this week prior to the start of Game 1. Those results aren't in yet, nor are there any MLB odds for Friday's contest, so we're running a bit blind with this preview of Game 2.
What we do know is it begins at 8:07 PM (ET) on Saturday, TBS providing the pictures and the initial mound duel set between Noah Syndergaard and Zack Greinke.
Heading into Friday's series opener, New York had won four of the seven previous matchups this season, taking two of three at Dodger Stadium over the Fourth of July weekend. The clubs split the four back east at Citi Field a few weeks after that, the totals also splitting on the baseball odds.
Syndergaard Gets Extra Rest Down Stretch
Thanks to the underachieving Washington Nationals, New York (90-72, +6.0 units) coasted to a 7-game cushion atop the NL East. Sweeps of the Nats in early August and the second week of September really served to both sink Washington and propel the Mets who ended up losing five of their final six games, including being no-hit by Max Scherzer over the final weekend.
Syndergaard definitely enjoyed pitching at home this year, his 2.46 ERA at Citi Field about 1¾ lower than away, and the end results were easy to back that up with the Mets 9-3 when he pitched in Flushing, 4-8 the rest of the time. The rookie faced six playoff teams along the way -- Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs, Pirates, Dodgers and Blue Jays -- and recorded four quality starts with a 3.22 ERA, but the Mets still found a way to lose four of the games.
In his start on this mound on July 3, Syndergaard just about equaled the effort of Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, going six and allowing just one run and two hits. vs. the Dodgers. Neither hurler figured into the decision, New York plating a run in the ninth for a 2-1 victory.
Dodgers Split Greinke's 2 Starts Vs. Mets
Los Angeles (92-70, -10.9 units) closed out the campaign by winning four in a row, helping offset a pair of 4-game skids in the final two weeks to take the NL West eight games ahead of San Francisco. For all the talk about their pair of aces in the rotation, the Dodgers' offense was sneaky good with an NL-leading 187 homers and .326 team OBP which tied the Giants for tops in the senior circuit.
A frontrunner for the NL Cy Young Award, Greinke helped LA to victories in 23 of his 32 starts, good enough for over nine units of profit while the rest of the rotation dropped over 20 units. The Dodgers lost just three times from July on with Greinke on the hill, and all three were quality starts with the lineup producing a combined five runs. He split his two appearances against the Mets, tossing seven shutout innings in a July 4 win at home to get the better of New York's Matt Harvey.
One thing we need to think about along with the weather forecast is the sunset in LA. It's going to be a warm weekend in Tinseltown, the thermometer expected to climb into the mid-90s on Saturday. The game is starting a little after five o'clock local time, so it could still be in the low-90s for the first pitch with those dreaded shadows creeping from home plate out to the mound the first few innings until the sun finally sets (6:25 PM PT).
I'm expecting Greinke to draw a moneyline in the -140 to -160 range with a 6 run total, maybe 6½, and inclined right now to lay the chalk on the home team for my free MLB pick.
MLB Pick: No Lines yet, Lean Dodgers