The Los Angeles Dodgers need every win they can get to keep pace in the National League West, and they’ve been winning plenty of late. The Dodgers go for their fourth straight victory and 10th in 11 contests when they begin a nine-game homestand with the opener of a four-game series against the New York Mets on Monday.
Los Angeles went 5-1 on a road trip through Ohio, which was capped by a three-game sweep of Cincinnati, and sits tied with Arizona (44-26), one game behind Colorado (46-26) for first in the division. The Mets dropped three of four over the weekend to Washington but take to the road with some momentum after capturing the series finale 5-1 on Sunday behind a strong start from Jacob deGrom. “Don’t pick up the newspapers. Just go win baseball games,” New York manager Terry Collins told reporters of his message to his team on the eve of a 10-game road trip. “The only thing you can control is how you play. If you go win games, you’ll get back in the race.” The Mets will try to win Monday’s game behind Zack Wheeler, while the Dodgers counter with ace Clayton Kershaw.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Zack Wheeler (3-4, 4.48 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.23)
Wheeler had a string of seven straight starts with fewer than four earned runs allowed come to an end Tuesday, when he was lit up by the Chicago Cubs. The 27-year-old yielded eight runs on six hits - two homers - and three walks in 1 2/3 innings before being pulled and taking the loss. Wheeler, who sat out 2015 and 2016 while recovering from elbow surgery, is making his first career start against Los Angeles.
Kershaw hit a snag with a start against Chicago on May 28 that lasted just 4 1/3 innings but has been back to his Cy Young Award-winning form over the last three outings. The veteran Texan allowed a total of four runs over 21 frames in those three turns, including a win at Cleveland on Tuesday. Kershaw never has lost to the Mets, as he owns a career record of 7-0 with a 1.29 ERA in 11 starts.
1. Dodgers 3B Justin Turner has hit safely in each of his last 13 games and is batting .385 on the season.
2. New York 3B Wilmer Flores is 3-for-27 over his last seven games.
3. Los Angeles RHP Kenley Jansen fanned a pair in a perfect ninth inning on Sunday and has recorded 50 strikeouts without a walk this year.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 9, Mets 1