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The New York Mets enter Tuesday’s MLB slate as one of the hottest teams in the league. They have won five games in a row, winning the final game of their series with the San Diego Padres, sweeping the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, and winning their series opener against the Dodgers on Monday. Here, the Mets look for a sixth straight win, and will need starting pitcher Tylor Megill to outduel Clayton Kershaw to get it.
Megill has been statistically superior to Kershaw this season, going 3-0 with an ERA of 2.25 to start his 2023 campaign. He has been a little adventurous in terms of letting runners on base this season, combining for a little over a walk or hit per inning pitched on the year. But those baserunners have not translated into runs all that often, and Megill will look to clean things up to help his team win this massive matchup.
Perhaps more important than the performance of Megill on the mound in this game will be the hitting of the Mets. The Mets are in the top 10 in runs scored across the league this season, but runs could be harder to come by than usual against the great Clayton Kershaw. If the Mets are going to win this game, they are going to need to get on the board early to prevent Kershaw from getting into too much of a rhythm.
A big question for the Mets lineup going into this contest is whether or not they can produce runs without benefiting from too many walks. The Mets lead the league in walks this season, piling up 88 of them through their first 17 games. But Kershaw has walked just four batters in his first 18 innings of work on the season, and his control will force the Mets bats to put the ball in play to earn their runs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have slid below the .500 mark for this season, dropping to 8-9 after losing three of their last four games. Two of those losses came over the weekend at the hands of the surprising Chicago Cubs, with the third coming last night against the Mets. Here, the Dodgers will aim to bounce back from their recent woes with Clayton Kershaw on the mound to lead them.
Kershaw is off to a respectable start to this season, going 2-1 with an ERA of 3.50 through three starts. He has thrown six innings in each of his first three starts, with his only subpar outing coming in his second start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In this game, Kershaw will look for his second quality start in a row, as he faces the most potent lineup he has seen all year in that of the Mets.
Kershaw’s control will be vital to the success of the Dodgers in this contest, as he has walked just four batters in three starts this season. The Mets are certainly capable of hitting Kershaw on their own, so giving up free bases would be a disaster for the aging ace of the Dodgers. Last season, Kershaw walked three batters in five innings against the Mets, making that an area to watch.
Offensively, the question for the Dodgers is whether or not their power bats can keep up with those of the Mets. Max Muncy is off to a red-hot start to this season, hitting seven home runs thus far. The Dodgers as a team rank second only to the Tampa Bay Rays in home runs this season, having clubbed 30 so far, and Los Angeles will look to add to that total against Megill to get back into the win column in what could end up being the best game of the night on the Tuesday MLB schedule.
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