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It was a first half to forget for the Mets. But they can’t forget too much because now they have to dig out of the hole they put themselves in. That starts on Friday at Citi Field against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

New York enters this matchup with a 42-48 record. They’re 18.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves, so any fantasies about coming back to win the division should be tabled (and they should’ve been a while ago). The Mets are also seven games back of the final NL Wild Card spot. That’s much more doable, but still pretty daunting.

Here are the probable pitching matchups at the moment.

Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET: Justin Verlander vs. Julio Urias

Justin Verlander finally got himself on a bit of a roll to close out the first half. His last three starts have included 13 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA across 18 innings. JV is 3-0 with a 2.91 career ERA against the Dodgers, but he hasn’t faced them since 2018.

After a stellar 2022, Julio Urias has struggled to find the same form this season. (Sounds like the Mets should trade for him!) He had two starts before the All-Star break after coming off the injured list. The first one wasn’t good (five earned runs in three innings), but the second one was much better (two earned runs in six innings). Urias has a 5.02 lifetime ERA against New York. However, his last appearance in 2022 resulted in one earned run on three hits, three walks, and four strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET: Kodai Senga vs. TBD

Fresh off his first All-Star Game selection, Kodai Senga will look to build upon an excellent outing in Arizona. He struck out 12 while allowing just one run on four hits and one walk in eight innings. Senga will be pitching at the friendly confines of Citi Field, where he’s registered a 2.64 ERA (that number is 3.97 on the road).

The Dodgers haven’t yet announced a starter for Saturday’s game. Once they do, we’ll update this article with that information.

Sunday at 1:40 p.m. ET: Max Scherzer vs. TBD

Max Scherzer had gotten himself rolling, but then things fell apart right before the All-Star break. During a three-start stretch between June 19-29, Max posted a 2.25 ERA with 25 strikeouts and three homers allowed in 20 innings. His last two starts have included a 7.36 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five homers allowed in 11 innings. The last time Scherzer faced the Dodgers, too much sweat and rosin on his hands prompted the umpires to toss him after three shutout innings.

The Dodgers also haven’t yet announced a starter for Sunday’s finale. Once they do, we’ll update this article with that information.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.