The Dodgers welcome the Mets to town for a four-game series beginning Monday night at Dodger Stadium. New York boasts one of the best starting rotations in baseball, with a collective 2.87 ERA that ranks third in the National League behind only the Cubs and Nationals.
But believe it or not, the Dodgers' starting rotation, whose 3.43 ERA ranks fourth in the NL, averages more innings per start (6.09) than the Mets (5.96). Here is a brief overview of the probable starting pitchers for the NLDS rematch.
Monday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA)
Home runs have been an issue for Scott Kazmir, who leads the staff with seven allowed in his six starts, but a positive trend for him is his strikeout rate, which is 27.3 percent in his last two starts after 17.9 percent in his four starts. Steven Matz got rocked for seven runs while recording just five outs in his first start of the season, but the left-hander since then has allowed just two runs in 27 innings, with 29 strikeouts and five walks.
The 2.83 ERA by Matz will be the highest ERA by any starting pitcher the Dodgers face in this series, and the only Mets relievers on the active roster with a higher ERA are Jerry Blevins (3.12) and Addison Reed (3.00).
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA, MLB Network)
Coming up with the Braves, Alex Wood made seven starts against the Mets from 2013-2015. He's 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA, but what struck me (in a fun fact sort of way) were how consistent some of the season totals were in innings (13⅓ in 2013, 13 in 2014, 13 in 2015), earned runs (six, six, seven) and strikeouts (14, 13, 13).
Jacob deGrom, who terrorized the Dodgers with 20 strikeouts in two NLDS starts in Los Angles, has just a 17.2-percent strikeout rate in his first four starts of 2016, after 27.3 percent in 2015. But he has also allowed just one home run in 22⅔ innings and sports a nifty 1.99 ERA.
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
Kenta Maeda has lasted at least six innings in each of his first six major league games. The only Dodgers to start their careers with longer streaks are Don Sutton (eight games in 1966), Hyun-Jin Ryu (eight in 2013) and John Ely (seven in 2010).
Noah Syndergaard had a 5.25 ERA in the first inning in his rookie season, but so far this year has only allowed one first-inning run in six starts, holding batters to 2-for-18 (.111) in the opening frame.
Syndergaard is tied for fourth in the majors with 49 strikeouts in 38⅓ innings.
Thursday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
Clayton Kershaw leads the majors with 64 strikeouts, including at least 10 in each of his last four starts. No Dodger has ever had five straight starts with double-digit strikeouts, though Kershaw is joined in the four-straight club by Hideo Nomo (1995) and Sandy Koufax (five times).
While Kershaw is taking stinginess to a new level with his three walks to date, Bartolo Colon isn't far behind. Colon, now a feared power hitter at the plate, has issued just four walks on the mound this season to go with his 2.82 ERA and 33 strikeouts. The soon-to-be 43-year-old has a streak of 12 consecutive starts with zero or one walk, dating back to 2015, the longest active streak in baseball.