Mets @ Dodgers April 20, 2024: Stone looks to light up Mets to avoid season-high losing streak

(Photo: Stacie Wheeler)

The Dodgers are struggling right now. They dropped the series opener against the Mets to give them six losses in their last eight games. They’ve lost two in a row three times in the last 10 days, but have yet to drop three in a row this season. Their .545 win percentage has them in first place in the NL West, but is only the seventh-highest in the NL and would have them in fourth place in either of the other NL divisions. Their +7 run differential is only eighth best in the NL. Per Jack Harris of the LA Times, the Dodgers are at risk of losing three series in the same homestand since 2011. It’s obviously still very early and Dodger fans of all people should know that April standings and records don’t matter all that much, but that doesn’t make it more fun to watch.

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1:05 P.M. Los Angeles
LF Nimmo (L) SS Betts
RF Marte DH Ohtani (L)
SS Lindor (S) 1B Freeman (L)
1B Alonso LF T. Hernández
DH Stewart (L) 3B Muncy (L)
2B McNeil (L) CF Outman (L)
CF Bader RF Pages
3B Wendle (L) 2B Lux (L)
C Narvaez (L) C Barnes
P Butto (R) P Stone (R)

Sometimes the universe aligns perfectly and the Dodgers start Gavin Stone on 4/20. Stone is coming off the best start of his young career. He pitched into the seventh inning for the first time in his career and held the Padres to five hits and two runs. He didn’t allow a baserunner through the first five innings, but ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth and seventh. A double play erased a leadoff walk in the sixth, but he allowed two singles and an RBI double before getting out of the inning. He got two quick outs in the seventh, but allowed a double and RBI single before getting pulled. Stone leaned on his sinker a bit more against the Padres (36.4 percent of the time, 20.8 and 23.5 percent of the time in his previous two starts this season).

Jose Butto gets the ball for the Mets. Butto ended last season as the Mets’ number 14 prospect on Pipeline and has pitched in each of the last two seasons in the Majors. He got his first start in August 2022 and it did not go well, as he allowed seven runs and nine hits in four innings against the Phillies. He fared better in 42 innings last season with a 3.64 ERA. His two starts this season have both been fantastic (with a grain of salt, as he’s faced Detroit and Kansas City). Both starts have been pretty identical, with Butto going six strong innings in a 2-1 Mets win. He allowed a run and three hits over his six innings against Detroit and last time out allowed only two hits over six shutout with a career-high nine strikeouts.

Pipeline called Butto’s changeup the best in the Mets system. It didn’t look the part in the Majors last season, which is the biggest sample size Baseball Savant has for it. He threw it 22.9 percent of the time and allowed a .316 average and .395 slugging off it (with expected numbers of .280 and .405, respectively). So far this season, he’s thrown it 37 times and has allowed two hits off it. He’s only allowed one hit off the two fastballs he throws (a four-seamer and sinker, with 35.9 and 23.8 percent usage rates this season).

Austin Barnes gets the start today behind the plate for the Dodgers. The Mets placed Francisco Alvarez on the IL after he left the game yesterday with a thumb sprain.


Nick Ramirez is back, as Kyle Hurt lands on the IL.

Ramirez hasn’t allowed a run in three innings in the Majors this season. He was sent back down to the Minors earlier this week, but Hurt’s injury allows him to be back. Hurt is dealing with shoulder inflammation. His IL stint is retroactive to Wednesday, meaning he can return as early as May 2nd.


First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PT and will be shown on SNLA and FS1.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.