Harvey, Mets host Dodgers
April 24, 2013
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LOS ANGELES DODGERS (9-10) at NEW YORK METS (9-9)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: New York -153 & 7 under -125
Phenom Matt Harvey will look to help the Mets avoid falling below .500 while the Dodgers will look to break above that plateau Wednesday night in New York when the teams meet in the middle of a three-game set.
The Dodgers took the series opener 7-2 on Tuesday night, though they shouldn’t expect to get that much offense in game two. The 24-year-old Harvey (4-0, 0.93 ERA) has shown why was so highly regarded as a prospect in the early going of this season. Veteran left-hander Ted Lilly takes the mound for the Dodgers, making his season debut after dealing with a shoulder injury that ended his 2012 season prematurely. Although the Mets own a slight 8-7 advantage against the Dodgers over the past three years, the Dodgers are now 5-2 at Citi Field over that span.
Lilly is 2-2 (team 3-3) with a 3.72 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in six career starts against the Mets. Last season, he pitched in just eight games, compiling a strong 3.14 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 5-1 record. He’s been called up quickly after injuries forced a need as he was struggling in the minors. But in three minor-league starts this year, he went 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA. If he struggles and can’t go deep, the Dodgers bullpen that has a 3.40 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this year will be forced to play a big role. An encouraging stat for Lilly’s chances: the Mets are 2-5 against lefty starters this year.
Harvey has been nearly unhittable this season, even taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning a couple of starts ago. He’s given up just 10 hits and nine walks in 29 innings (0.66 WHIP), while racking up 32 K's and holding opponents to a mere .108 BA against him. In each of his four starts, he’s gone at least seven innings. That’s good news for a Mets bullpen that has a 5.46 ERA this season and gave up six runs on Tuesday. New York relievers had to pitch 6.2 innings Tuesday, filling in after starter Jon Niese got injured. Harvey has never started against the Dodgers in his young career, but he has been masterful in six career starts at Citi Field, posting a 1.42 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 46 K's in 38 innings.
The Mets are fourth in the majors with 101 runs this season, ranking eighth in slugging (.423) and ninth in on-base percentage (.328). Leading that effort has been catcher John Buck, who is mashing with seven home runs and 22 RBI already. The Mets player with the best track record against Lilly is Marlon Byrd, who has a .471 BA in 17 career at-bats against the southpaw with a home run and 8 RBI. The Los Angeles offense has the second-fewest runs in MLB with just 61, despite posting a .344 OBP, which ranks fourth in the majors. Leading all departments of their offense is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is hitting .377 with two home runs and 14 RBI.