As August turns to September, the focus for the New York Mets intensifies every fifth day when knuckleballer R.A. Dickey takes the mound. The 37-year-old right-hander starts the series opener at Miami looking to join Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto as the majors’ only 17-game winners. The Miami Marlins have long sewn up the title of biggest disappointment in the National League, as their offseason spending spree has netted a 59-72 record. The mark is the fourth-worst in the NL.
Miami has lost five of its past seven to open up a seven-game homestand, but one of the pieces acquired last winter has found his stride since the All-Star break. Shortstop Jose Reyes has hit .310 since the break, raising his average from .264 to .283. The Marlins send 22-year-old Nathan Eovaldi to the mound for the series opener.
Mets Marlins Betting
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, August 31, 2012
Where: Marlins Ballpark, Miami, Florida
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), Fox Sports Florida (Miami).
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH R.A. Dickey (16-4, 2.76 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Nathan Eovaldi (4-9, 4.54).
Dickey is on the list of NL Cy Young candidates. The knuckleballer is tied for fifth in the majors in strikeouts (183) and sixth in ERA. Dickey has breathed life into a Mets’ team that has struggled since early June. He has lost twice in August, but struck out 10 en route to pitching his fourth complete game of the season in beating the Marlins on Aug. 9. Dickey is 3-0 against Miami this season.
Eovaldi’s recent starts have been either really good or really rough. He allowed six earned runs and seven hits in just three innings in a loss to the Dodgers in his previous start last week. In his last start Aug. 18 at Colorado, he surrendered just one earned run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings to get the win. He has alternated wins and losses in his past six starts.
1. Eovaldi is 1-1 in three starts against the Mets, allowing just one earned run in 9 1/3 innings combined in his past two appearances against New York.
2. Miami 2B Donovan Solano has a 12-game hitting streak; he has multi-hit games in five of those 12 contests.
3. New York leads the season series 5-4.