New York Mets vs Los Angeles Dodgers (6/4/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The two best teams in baseball meet up again for the third game of this four-game series. It’s been an intense series, and we’re in for another big game on Saturday evening.

So, which team has the edge?

Let’s dive into the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Saturday’s battle.

New York Mets vs Los Angeles Dodgers Odds

I think this is a pretty fair line for Walker Buehler on the mound. He’s been one of the game’s best for a few years now.

But, could he be slightly overvalued? He just recently had a blowup start against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates (who ended up sweeping the Dodgers over the weekend for the first time since 2000).

I don’t know what to make of David Peterson, who’s been rather up-and-down to begin the year. A total of 8.5 seems right with him on the mound.

New York Mets Starting Lineup

CF B. Nimmo L
RF S. Marte R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
3B E. Escobar S
LF M. Canha R
DH J.D. Davis R
2B L. Guillorme L
C T. Nido R

New York Mets vs Walker Buehler

Buehler’s strikeouts are way down this season, which has led to an increase in his FIP. His ERA is also up around a run year-over-year, but we have seen some slight regression following his .247 BABIP in 2021.

I’m slightly concerned about his .260 xBA as well, which ranks in just the 39th percentile of hitters. His whole Baseball Savant page doesn’t scream “Cy Young Candidate”.

Screen Shot 2022 06 03 at 2.56.33 PM

 

Image credit: Baseball Savant

He continues to throw his cutter more and more, and that pitch is having success. He’s posted a whopping +9 Run Value on his four-seam fastball but a -5 on his cutter. The rest of his arsenal is similarly impressive, but his once-great fastball has fallen off the face of the earth.

The Mets offense is so curious. They don’t hit the ball hard, but their plate discipline is elite. Six of the regular nine-man lineup have an OBP above .340, and the Mets have the fourth-lowest strikeout rate in the league.

They put the ball in play and allow the terrible defenses in the NL East to butcher every ground ball. By both Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average, the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies are the two worst defensive teams in baseball save the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies.

The Mets have played the Nationals and Phillies a combined 22 times. And, almost unbelievably, they’ve also played the Rockies and Giants a combined 10 times. You get 32 games against the four worst defensive teams in baseball, and the result is this:

Screen Shot 2022 06 03 at 3.01.28 PM

Image credit: Mike Petriello, MLB.com

The Mets have to be due for regression. But they’ve been disciplined and can punish defenses to the biggest extent. They’ve built a 10-game lead in the NL East with this strategy, maybe it’ll lead to something more?

Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup

RF M. Betts R
1B F. Freeman L
SS T. Turner R
C W. Smith R
DH E. Rios L
3B J. Turner R
CF C. Bellinger L
LF C. Taylor R
2B G. Lux L

Los Angeles Dodgers vs David Peterson

The young Peterson is having a much-improved start to his 2022 season. That’s great, as the Mets have desperately needed starters with Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom sidelined.

He finished 2022 with a 5.54 ERA and a 5.96 xERA. Those numbers are down to 3.03 and 3.94, respectively. His xFIP has picked up a few points from last year, but that might be due to the changing home run environment we’ve seen across baseball.

Peterson has ditched his sinker and moved to a four-seam heavy approach. His sinker had a +6 Run Value over the last two seasons, and while his four-seam has a +0 Run value this year, that’s an improvement.

chart 2022 06 03T151101.858

Image credit: Baseball Savant

The lefty will work in the zone (13th percentile in chase rate) and try to keep hard-hit balls down (75th percentile in avg. exit velocity) with breaking and offspeed stuff.

The Dodgers will likely respond. The best lineup in baseball has a .351 OBP and a 131 wRC+ over the last month, with Mookie Betts leading the way.

The past few years have shown a concerning trend for Betts, who simply wasn’t hitting the ball as hard as he did during his MVP season. His elite plate discipline and defense made his lofty contract worth it, but he couldn’t post unbelievable numbers without solid contact.

Folks, something clicked for Betts in late April.

Screen Shot 2022 06 03 at 3.27.34 PM

Image credit: FanGraphs

Since that low point in the graph, Mookie has posted a 1.148 OPS with 14 home runs and 31 RBIs in 33 games – all from the leadoff spot! He’s stolen 21 bases as well and has a 14:21 BB/K ratio (.416 OBP).

Mookie is unstoppable, and he now leads MLB in fWAR with 3.6 this season.

New York Mets vs Los Angeles Dodgers Pick & Prediction

My picks: Under 8.5 (-110 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

The under is already taking some sharp money, and I think it’s the right play in this one.

The Dodgers aren’t a good defensive team, but they have one of the best defensive outfields (fifth in outfield Outs Above Average) and will not allow the Mets opportunities like the Phillies or Nationals would.

Meanwhile, Buehler is due for some bounce-back performances. He’s underperforming both his current statistics and his potential, and there’s no better way to take advantage of that than to shut down the soft-hitting Mets at home.

I wouldn’t sleep on David Peterson in this spot, as the Dodgers are always weaker against southpaws. L.A. has a 122 wRC+ against the right side (first in MLB) but just a 110 wRC+ against the left side (110 wRC+). Peterson could keep the Dodgers at bay.

Plus, the Mets bullpen is third in reliever xFIP (3.50) while the Dodgers bullpen is second (3.43). If this game gets to the late innings, it’ll be hard to score enough runs to get this game over 9.

I’ll happily play the under in this spot, and it’s a bet I like a lot.

Post
Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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