Mets-Dodgers is MLB.TV’s Free Game Of The Day

Francisco Lindor against Freddie Freeman. The Mets against the Dodgers. Two of baseball’s best players on two of baseball’s best teams will face off and you can watch for free at 3 p.m. ET/12 PT on MLB.TV.

The matchup between Lindor’s Mets and Freeman’s Dodgers is MLB.TV’s Free Game of the Day.

Lindor and Freeman aren’t the only intriguing storylines in this game. Former Dodger Max Scherzer will make the start for the Mets while Noah Syndergaard will make his first career start against his former team.

While both teams have legitimate World Series aspirations, they’re off to very different starts in 2023.

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After a 101-win season in 2022, the Mets are off to a hot 11-7 start this season. Despite a flurry of injuries to Mets pitchers such as Edwin Díaz, Justin Verlander, and José Quintana prior to Opening Day, the Mets have soared to one of the best records in the Majors. The early success is largely tied to the expected contributions from their star players. The aforementioned Lindor and Brandon Nimmo have picked up right where they left off from their strong ’22 seasons. Pete Alonso, meanwhile, is tied for the MLB lead with eight home runs.

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Mets relievers have also played a major role, especially in light of the starting rotation’s struggles to start the season. Even without Díaz, one of the game’s premier relievers, the Mets bullpen has been one of the better units from a run-prevention perspective. David Robertson and Adam Ottavino have dominated in the early going, having allowed a combined one run.

A perennial powerhouse, the Dodgers have scuffled to a 9-9 start. An eventful offseason that saw core players like Trea Turner, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger find new teams led to an increased reliance on their usual stars and homegrown young talent. To the Dodgers’ credit, many of those players have been great. Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith (who is currently on the seven-day concussion IL), Clayton Kershaw and Max Muncy have all produced near or above their career levels. Rookie James Outman has been a revelation with a 1.009 OPS, while Dustin May has pitched to a 3.00 ERA in four starts.

On the flip side, a large chunk of other Dodgers have struggled out of the gate. Newcomers Miguel Vargas and David Peralta have struggled in prominent roles while Syndergaard enters his Wednesday start with a 5.63 ERA, albeit with a 3.69 expected ERA. J.D. Martinez’s two-homer, four-hit performance in Tuesday’s game certainly helped alleviate the concerns about his early struggles. Even the Dodgers bullpen, a projected preseason strength, has a 4.79 ERA entering Wednesday’s game.

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At the same time, this is the Dodgers we’re talking about. An 18-game sample isn’t fully indicative of a team’s true talent and more so for a team with the Dodgers’ track record. With 144 games remaining for Dodgers, there is ample time to turn things around.