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Mets vs. Dodgers MLB Pick / Gambling Preview (July. 22)

MLB Thursday Preview – N.Y. vs L.A.

Before baseball gambling fans turn their attention to other sports betting events this week, we have the Thursday MLB game of the day pick for you. It’s time for our weekly baseball picks for online MLB betting action.

Season Record:
N.Y.: 49-45 SU
L.A.: 49-45 SU

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Dodgers, Mets Both Try To Pick-Up Ground

MLB Betting – New York Mets @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Hisanori Takahashi (7-4) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (7-8)

Takahashi vs. Dodgers Hitting

Takahashi’s role with New York this season has been in both the starting rotation and the bullpen, and the Mets are grateful for his versatility. However, recently his numbers indicate he’s much better suited for the ‘pen. In his last five appearances, Takahashi has started four times and come out of the ‘pen once. That one relief appearance was a three-inning clinic in which he allowed only one hit and zero runs. His four starts have been more like hitting clinics; he’s allowed 21 runs in 17 1/3 IP and never lasted past the sixth inning.

Thus, I’m betting the Dodger bats are probably happy they’re seeing Takahashi at the beginning of the game instead of the end. Even with Manny Ramirez back on the DL, the Dodgers have offensive pop that can send some pitchers (especially struggling ones like Takahashi) to the showers early. Guys like Andre Ethier (16 HR, 57 RBI) and James Loney (64 RBI) fit that mold. Add in the fact that in 11 road appearances (six starts) this year, Takahashi is 3-2 with a 5.44 ERA, and the Dodgers bats seem to have the advantage in this matchup.

Kuroda vs. Mets Hitting

Kuroda started the year hot, but has not been pitching his best ball over the past two months. Since May 23rd, Kuroda is 2-7 with a 4.58 ERA, with batters hitting .279 against him in that span. Kuroda relies on deception and control, and can yield really bad results if one or the other isn’t working on a particular start. However, Kuroda has also been the recipient of some bad luck and poor run support. In his last start, the right-hander pitched six innings and allowed only one run, but was saddled with the loss as Los Angeles dropped the ballgame 2-0.

David Wright is the leader of the New York offense, leading the team in batting average, home runs and RBI’s. Lucky for him (and Mets fans), Wright has past success against Kuroda, going 5-for-9 with 3 RBI’s and two walks. Outside of Wright, guys like Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay can help out on the offensive side, and have shown the ability to break out and score lots of runs. The Mets offense has the advantage.

Bullpen Comparison

Francisco Rodriguez is having his best season as a Met, with 21 saves so far and a 2.68 ERA. However he has blown five saves already. Outside of Rodriguez there are studs (Elmer Dessens and his 1.77 ERA) and duds (Fernando Nieve and his 5.93 ERA) in the bullpen. It’s not an overpowering set of relievers, but it’s good enough to keep the team in games and not embarrass them against opponents. That is, as long as Oliver Perez stays away.

The Dodgers bullpen is also led by its closer, as all-star Jonathan Broxton is putting together another fine season (19 saves, 55 K’s in 40 IP). However, outside of surprise star Hong-Chih Kuo (0.87 ERA in 30.2 IP), there isn’t much to love about the ‘pen. Mid-level to high ERA’s mask the rest of the Dodger relievers, and they’re part of the reason Los Angeles is falling behind in the NL West race.

Outlook

Neither team is playing desperate baseball yet, but with their respective division leaders playing so well both teams know they have to start stepping it up to stay in the race. The Mets are in trouble in this game because of Takahashi’s recent inability to pitch well when starting games. Kuroda hasn’t been great, but he has at least shown a couple of flashes of solid play. I’m betting the Dodgers will be able to take advantage of the opposing starters troubles more-so than the Mets can.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers

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Poolside Rants hails from beautiful Bozeman Montana by way of Toronto, Canada. (Blame his wife for the move). He’s a Dallas Cowboys football honk. But please….don’t hold that against him. The man knows his sports and has uncanny knowledge when it comes to picking games.

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