The Dodgers have been the hottest team in baseball for over seven weeks. They haven't lost back-to-back games since June 20-21, and since then they are 37-8, owners of the best record and best run differential (+90) in major league baseball during that span.
But the Mets have had a turnaround of their own. New York is 25-20 during that span with a +26 run differential, the fourth best record and pythagorean winning percentage in the Natiional League. The Mets have won five of their last six games, including taking two of three games in Arizona over the weekend, and New York is one of just five NL teams with at least a .500 record on the road, at 29-29.
But after following up a 17-28 stretch immediately with 37-8, the Dodgers now have 45 games remaining in their season to hold on to their 7½-game lead in the NL West. Splitting the difference and giving the Dodgers 27 wins in their final 45 games, a .600 pace, would put the Dodgers at 94 wins.
The Dodgers open their series with the Mets still without Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, his eighth straight game out of the starting lineup. One night after Dee Gordon made three errors at shortstop, Nick Punto gets the nod at shortstop on Monday.
Punto, who is 9-for-18 (.500) with five walks in August, will be presented with the MLBPA Dodgers Heart & Hustle Award before Monday's game. It is the second time Punto has won the team honor, which also comes with a nomination for the national award, as he also won with the Twins in 2010. Fernando Valenzuela will present Punto with the award prior to the game.
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket