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GAME 3 PREVIEW: Mets at Dodgers, 10:10 PM

Jonathon Niese (7-7, 3.72 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 2.53 K/BB): Niese’s current stats and his first half 2010 stats are eerily similar. The southpaw posted a 3.61 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 2.61 K/BB in 89.6 innings in the first half of last season. However, in the second half of 2010, Niese posted a dismal 4.82 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, and 2.21 K/BB. One has to think that a lack of full-season stamina was partially the culprit, but as the season draws closer to the All-Star break, fans eagerly await to see if Niese has matured. (Career vs. Dodgers: .292/.370/.417 line with a 4.76 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 1.67 K/BB)

Hiroki Kuroda (6-9, 2.90 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 2.79 K/BB): Kuroda isn’t doing anything particularly different than last season, yet his ERA is at 2.90 (as opposed to 3.39 last season). Kuroda’s .274 BABIP is kind of low and his 79.4% stand rate is a bit higher than league average, but do those differences explain the .49 point difference in ERA? Maybe, maybe not. Semantics aside, Kuroda is always a worth opponent, regardless of whether his ERA is 2.90 or 3.39. (Career vs. Mets: .315/.380/.551 line with a 5.70 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 0.93 K/BB)


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