The Daily Sweat: New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers meet in a potential NLCS preview

By all measures, the New York Mets have had a very successful season. They currently have the second-best record in baseball. New York is on pace to win 103 games in Buck Showalter's first season as the manager. With all of that being said, there's no denying who the top dog in the National League is, and it's not the Mets.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are eight games ahead of the Mets in the standings. They're on pace to win 114 games and seriously challenge the single-season win record of 116 set by the 2001 Seattle Mariners. The Dodgers are 44-10 since June 29th. It was a bit of a slow start for Los Angeles, but they've turned it on in a serious way down the stretch.

The Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series at +300. They're also obviously favored to win the NL with +140 odds. The Mets have the fourth-best World Series odds at +550. New York is +250 to win the NL Pennant, the second best odds in the league.

These two teams open a three game series at Citi Field on Tuesday night in what could very well be a preview of the NLCS. The Dodgers are short road favorites in the series opener at -135. Taijuan Walker takes the mound for the Mets. He's had a rocky month of August between injuries and a few shaky starts. Andrew Heaney will be on the bump for the Dodgers. Of course, the Dodgers have managed to turn Heaney into a legitimate MLB pitcher. Heaney has a sub-2 ERA on the year, striking out 62 batters in 41.2 innings.

The Mets won't see Tony Gonsolin in this series as he just hit the injured list. Clayton Kershaw isn't quite ready to return either. On the other side, the Dodgers will avoid Max Scherzer. So while the pitching matchups aren't quite what they'd be in the playoffs, the intrigue is still there as the two top teams in the NL matchup.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 09: Jeff McNeil #1 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field on August 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Jeff McNeil and the Mets will see how they stack up against the LA Dodgers this week. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images) (Mike Stobe via Getty Images)

What else is on the baseball schedule?

Another marquee series gets underway on Tuesday as the Washington Nationals welcome in the Oakland Athletics. Alright, I'll stop, but the Nationals are slight -115 favorites on Tuesday night if for some reason you feel the need to bet that barnburner.

In all seriousness, this past weekend felt like a death knell for teams like the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants, so the playoff races are tightening up even further as we enter the final full month of the season.

In the AL, the Orioles are still hanging around, just two games out of the final Wild Card spot. They are +120 underdogs on Tuesday against the Cleveland Guardians, who have a 1.5 game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. The Twins are -135 favorites against Boston.

Is now the time to bet the Tampa Bay Rays to win the AL East at 50-to-1 odds? They get two games against the Marlins this week before a pivotal weekend series against the Yankees. New York can't get out of their own way, losing two straight to the Athletics over the weekend before losing the series opener against the Angels on Monday. The Yankees' lead over Tampa is down to just seven games and by the end of the weekend, it could be even lower.

US Open continues

Serena Williams got the win on Monday night, ensuring there will be another match in her storied career. She's still a 28-to-1 long shot to win the tournament on the women's side. Iga Swiatek is the favorite at +350.

We saw three semi-big names go down in the first round on the men's side on Monday, with Roberto Bautista Agut, Taylor Fritz and Stefanos Tsitsipas all bowing out. Daniil Medvedev is the betting favorite to win the tournament at +240.

Get ready for some football

The college football season got underway this past weekend, but Week Zero is just an appetizer. The real madness gets going this weekend, and it starts pretty early. On Thursday, we have a pair of intriguing matchups between some big programs.

Pittsburgh is a 7.5-point home favorite against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The "Backyard Brawl" used to be one of college football's best rivalries, and it finally returns after the two programs haven't met since 2011. There's also an intriguing Big Ten game, as Penn State is a 3.5-point road favorite against Purdue.