Left-hander Julio Urias (6-5, 4.76 ERA) is slated to start for the Dodgers against right-hander Justin Verlander (3-4, 3.60) in a battle of former 20-game winners
The Dodgers closed out the first half by beating the visiting Los Angeles Angels to complete a two-game series sweep and run their winning streak to four. The Mets suffered their second straight loss Sunday to the host San Diego Padres
At 51-38, the Dodgers -- who won a franchise-record 111 games last season -- are on pace to record fewer than 100 victories in a 162-game schedule for the first time since 2017. Los Angeles went 92-71 before falling to the Houston Astros in a seven-game World Series
But the Dodgers, who moved into a virtual tie for first place with the Arizona Diamondbacks by winning five of their final six games before the break, are still well-positioned to reach the playoffs for the 11th straight season
"I (feel) like we (are) in a really good position," Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy said Saturday. "And saying that, I feel like we have also been playing pretty average baseball for the first half. So I know this team has a lot more in it.
The Mets are running out of time to prove the same thing
New York enters Friday with a 42-48 record, seven games behind the San Francisco Giants in the race for the third wild card.
The Mets opened July with six straight wins following a nightmarish June, during which they went 7-19 and lost a whopping 14 1/2 games in the NL East standings to the Atlanta Braves
But consecutive losses to the Padres, in which they were outscored by a combined 9-3, underlined the problems New York has faced this season.
The Mets have scored four runs or fewer in 47 games and are tied for 15th in the majors with a .726 OPS. Their starting pitchers have posted a 4.57 ERA, tied for 10th highest in the majors
"In the mathematical world, the road trip was OK," manager Buck Showalter said of the Mets, who went 4-2 against the Diamondbacks and Padres. "But some of the math is -- we don't want it to work against us. We've got to win ballgames.
Urias earned the win in his most recent start July 6, when he allowed two runs over six innings as the Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is 0-0 with a 5.02 ERA in five career games (three starts) against the Mets
Verlander didn't factor into the decision last Friday, when he gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings in the Mets' 7-5 win over the Padres
He is 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in three career starts (regular season) against the Dodgers. The three-time Cy Young Award winner also went 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts for the Astros against Los Angeles in the 2017 World Series
--Field Level Media