Mets @ Dodgers, May 11 2016: Maeda vs. Thor

Mets
Dodgers
7:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
RF
Granderson
2B
Utley
SS
Cabrera
SS
Seager
LF
Conforto
3B
Kendrick
CF
Cespedes
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Duda
C
Grandal
2B
Walker
CF
Pederson
3B
Campbell
RF
Puig
C
Rivera
LF
Crawford
P
Syndergaard (R)
P
Maeda (R)

Kenta Maeda and Noah Syndergaard have been two of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball so far this season. Maeda has the second-best ERA in the National League, at 1.66 (3.15 FIP). The Dodgers are 3-3 in his starts. Syndergaard has the best FIP in the National League, at 1.58 (2.58 ERA). The Mets are 3-3 in his starts. Baseball, right?

Maeda and Syndergaard are very different pitchers, yet they have found their success in a number of similar ways. Batters are unlikely to hit home runs off of either man. Maeda’s given up three home runs in 38 IP (0.71 HR/9); Syndergaard has allowed just one home run in 38.1 IP (0.23 HR/9).

Both pitchers have good strikeout and walk rates, although Maeda’s are above average (8.29 K/9, 2.37 BB/9), while Syndergaard’s are exceptional (11.50 K/9, 1.88 BB/9). Syndergaard’s K%-BB% of 27% is second in baseball to only Clayton Kershaw.

Both Maeda and Syndergaard have managed to keep the hard contact off of them to a minimum:

A substantial difference between Maeda and Syndergaard is their velocity. Maeda throws his average fastball at 89.7 MPH. As you’ll likely remember from the 2015 NLDS, Syndergaard throws hard — the average velocity on his four seamer this season is 97.8 MPH. He also throws his second-most used pitch, his sinker, at 97.7 MPH. Yikes.

One additional thing that Maeda and Syndergaard have in common: both have been more successful on the road than at home. The good news for Dodger fans, though, is that Maeda’s been excellent at home — just not quite as excellent as he’s been on the road.

This matchup has all the makings of a low-scoring pitchers’ duel, which means that both teams will probably hit a bunch of dingers and the final score will be something like 11-10.

With another Mets righty on the mound, tonight’s Dodgers lineup is practically identical to last night’s lineup, except Howie Kendrick is at third base in place of Justin Turner. It’s just a day of rest for Turner:

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.