New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers
Moneyline: NYM +160/LAD -180
First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Noah Syndergaard (3-4, 4.93 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (5-1, 3.58 ERA)
It's pretty rare when Syndergaard gets touched up for more than four earned runs in a start, but that was exactly the case his last time out -- against the Detroit Tigers of all teams, who scratched across six runs against the right-hander despite coming into Citi Field on a nine-game skid.
Only eight times previously has this happened during Thor's five seasons in the big leagues. But the good news is that when this oddity does occur, the 6-foot-6 Texas native has been known to bounce back right away.
In fact, in the eight previous instances in which Syndergaard allowed more than four earned runs, he typically would rebound with a strong performance. In those eight ensuing assignments, Thor collectively produced a 2.77 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while etching an impressive 49-6 K/BB ratio.
So, while a date with the National League's best team isn't exactly ideal, Syndergaard can still be leaned upon in this spot. Aside from the fact that he's notched a 1.65 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in three career meetings with the Dodgers, Syndergaard hasn't even been as bad as his overall numbers might suggest, as he's still racking up a healthy amount of strikeouts (9.35 K/9).
He also owns a 3.70 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), which indicates he's been far superior than his 4.93 ERA. Additionally, Syndergaard has been mostly unlucky in 2019, having to deal with a .330 batting average on balls put in play against him. That's the eighth-highest such mark amongst qualified starters.
Like his counterpart this evening, Buehler also had to battle through struggles early on, carrying an 8.25 ERA after his first three starts of the campaign.
Since then, however, the 2015 first-round draft pick has settled in and is resembling the terrific form he often displayed last year as a rookie. In each of his last seven starts, Buehler has pitched into at least the sixth inning while yielding three runs or fewer in all. He also accumulated a stingy 43-6 K/BB ratio within that span.
How I Would Bet This Game
This is actually one I will be betting. However, rather than taking a side -- which is awfully tempting given those odds for someone as potentially dominant as Syndergaard -- I'm going with an Under 7.5 wager. Buehler is clearly sailing in the right direction and can continue his success opposite a banged-up Mets offense that is still without Jeff McNeil and Robinson Cano. As long as Syndergaard lives up to his history following a poor outing, the final score here figures to remain on the low side.