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Dodgers vs. Mets: 2015 NLDS Series Preview

TV executives squeal with delight as America's two biggest markets face off...

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There was a time when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn, and the Mets didn't exist. The Dodgers (and Giants) headed west, and not long after the Mets were created so that not everyone in New York had to cheer for the Yankees. The Dodgers beat the Mets in a fantastic seven-game NLCS in 1988, while the Mets swept the Dodgers in the 2006 NLDS.

It's time for a rubber match!

The Dodgers finished 92-70 this season, the Mets finished 90-72. Both teams could be pretty confident with a couple weeks left in the season that they'd win their division, and that they wouldn't catch St. Louis for the best record in the National League. They still had home-field in this series to play for, and Los Angeles came out on top.

Game Schedule (all games will be televised on TBS)

  • Friday, October 9 (@ Los Angeles), 9:45 ET
  • Saturday, October 10 (@ Los Angeles), 9:07 ET
  • Monday, October 12 (@ New York), TBD
  • Tuesday, October 13 (@ New York), TBD**
  • Thursday, October 15 (@ Los Angeles), TBD**

**If necessary

Both these teams have tremendous starting pitching, so if you're like me, and always hope for a tremendous duel, this is the series to keep your eyes on.

Dodgers starting pitchers:
Game Pitcher Handed ERA FIP K% BB%
1 Clayton Kershaw L 2.13 1.99 33.8 4.7
2 Zack Greinke R 1.66 2.76 23.7 4.7
3 Brett Anderson L 3.69 3.94 15.5 6.1
4 Alex Wood L 3.84 3.69 17.4 7.4
Mets starting pitchers:
Game Pitcher Handed ERA FIP K% BB%
1 Jacob deGrom R 2.54 2.70 27.3 5.1
2 Noah Syndergaard R 3.24 3.25 27.5 5.1
3 Matt Harvey R 2.71 3.05 24.9 4.9
4 Steven Matz L 2.27 3.61 22.8 6.7

The Game 1 and 2 starters will all be on full rest if there is a Game 5, giving the managers pretty incredible options should it come to that.

Kershaw has somewhat famously struggled in his postseason starts in recent years, but I still like the Dodgers' chances any time he's on the mound. Having Greinke right behind him seems almost unfair, but the Mets look to have the pitching advantage in Games 3 and 4 back in Queens.

Neither team has especially strong or weak relief pitching, so there's not an obvious advantage for either side in a game that becomes a battle of the bullpens.

The Dodgers have the better offense, having hit .250/.326/.413, with a wRC+ of 106, compared to the Mets, who hit .244/.312/.400, with a wRC+ of 99. Neither team steals many bases, but the Mets look passable as a baserunning team, while the Dodgers were relatively poor at successfully taking the extra base. Both teams have a pretty solid defense.

Neither team has any real weak links in the lineup, with all sixteen players expected to start most games posting a wRC+ of at least 95 this season. The Dodgers (among players with 400+ PA) were led by Justin Turner, which may come as a surprise, while the Mets were led by midseason acquisition Yoenis Cespedes, who is going to receive some NL MVP support despite playing in the American League for more than half the season.

In terms of former Indians, Bartolo Colon is about it, and he'll only appear if one of the Mets' starters falters early, or a game goes to extra innings. Hopefully something crazy happens, and we get to watch him hit.