After a blown save on Wednesday night, the New York Mets will try to salvage Thursday’s series finale with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After taking two of the first three games of the series, the host Dodgers are massive -270 favorites to win on Thursday.
Despite Wednesday’s crushing loss, the Mets have actually been playing better lately. Since getting swept by the Marlins in embarrassing fashion a couple of weeks ago, the Mets have won seven of their last 10 games to pull within one game of .500. Of course, they remain six games off the pace in the NL East standings.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, continue to dominate the NL West. Los Angeles has won 11 of its last 14 games, climbing 18 games over .500 and eight games clear of second-place San Diego in the NL West. They currently have the most wins in the National League and are tied with the Astros and Twins for the most in all of baseball with 37.
No One Better
Hyun-jin Ryu will take the mound Thursday to close out the series for the Dodgers. He’s arguably the best pitcher in baseball right now, going 7-1 with a 1.65 ERA over his first 10 starts of the season. However, he was a little vulnerable in his last time out, allowing two runs on 10 hits over six innings and only striking out three. But if that’s as bad as it gets for Ryu, the Dodgers will gladly take it.
Of course, the Mets have fared well against other members of the Los Angeles pitching staff, scoring 20 runs over the first three games of the series. The likes of Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo are all sidelined due to injury. However, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Amed Rosario, and Todd Frazier are all mashing right now. The Mets are also getting contributions from several unexpected sources these days, so perhaps they can surprise Ryu.
No One Worse
The Mets will take their chances with Jason Vargas on the mound Thursday night. Vargas is 1-2 with a 5.22 ERA this season and has been the weak link in their rotation. After a few rough outings early in the year, Vargas has actually allowed just one run in three of his last four starts. However, he’s averaging less than five innings during that span, and after the Mets used all of their top relievers while trying to close out Wednesday’s game, five innings from Vargas may not be enough.
Moreover, Vargas may not be a great matchup against the Dodgers. If he’s not hitting his spots, he can get knocked around. Against a lineup with the likes of Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner, there’s even less margin for error. The Dodgers are the kind of team that could tee off on a pitcher like Vargas.
With a money line of -270, it’s sometimes worth it to take the underdog because it offers a big payout. The Mets have shown enough lately to make one think they have a chance in this game. But the Ryu and Vargas pitching matchup is too lopsided. Bet on the Dodgers -270 to win on Thursday.