LOS ANGELES -- We've seen the Dodgers go through slumps this season on offense, but that is all relative. The Mets come to town for a weekend series if anything to prove that if you pick the correct fence, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
The Mets' offense looks more like grass that hasn't been watered in weeks.
New York is hitting .232/.296/.358 as a team, which seems like a typo. I did a double take when I saw that batting line. I tend to focus quite a bit on the Dodgers, so there are often times where I miss the forest for the trees, but I like to think I have a fairly decent handle on what's going on around the rest of baseball.
But I had no idea the Mets offense was this bad.
The Mets are either 28th or 29th among 30 MLB teams in OPS, OPS+, wOBA (.289), wRC+ (86), and slugging percentage, but in on-base percentage they move all the way up to 25th.
Even more surprising is that the Phillies and White Sox have been just as bad, if not worse on offense. Philadelphia, by the way, comes to Dodger Stadium for four games following the Mets series.
The Dodgers at their worst this year on offense scored six runs in a seven-game stretch, and starting with that period runs have been at a slow climb upward but still at a relative premium, averaging 3.467 runs per game in their last 45 games.
New York is averaging 3.463 runs per game. On the season.
They have scored 23 runs in their last 14 games, including two or fewer runs 12 times during that span.
The Mets come to town fresh off getting swept in three games at home by the Cubs, with New York scoring all of one run in the three games. On the road, New York is just 11-26, with 18 losses in their last 22 away contests.
Sandy Alderson coined the term "Panic City" to describe the coverage of the Mets this season, but Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post turned that back on Alderson on Thursday (bonus points for filing his story from "PANIC CITY, New York"):
A Post reporter stopped Sandy Alderson to talk about all of this Thursday. Alderson declined comment, saying he had to take his dog for a walk. No. Really. That’s what he said. His dog had to do on a grassy knoll on the outskirts of Citi Field what the dog’s owner has methodically done to this Mets season.
Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.
After the Mets lost 6-1 to the Cubs on Thursday, manager Terry Collins joked to reporters, "The only thing left is human sacrifice," per Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News.
So the Mets are reeling a bit as they arrive in Los Angeles. But they aren't necessarily a bad team. At 40-40, their pitching staff is keeping them afloat. The Dodgers will have to face young flame thrower Noah Syndergaard in the series opener.
But that Mets offense has a challenge too, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers, eager to snap the first three-start losing streak of his career.
Kershaw in his career is 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA against the Mets, with 43 strikeouts and 19 walks in 44⅓ innings in seven starts. The Dodgers have won all seven games, though he hasn't faced them since 2013.
In three career home starts against the Mets, Kershaw has allowed three runs (one earned) in 23 innings.
The Dodgers haven't played at home in 12 days. Get ready for some green grass.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, ESPN
The ESPN broadcast, with Jon Sciambi on play-by-play with analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville, is a full national telecast, and will not be blacked out in the Los Angeles market.