Written by Pablo Figueroa at Sporting Charts
The day after the American League starts with their sets of division series, we get the chance to watch the National League, where most of MLB’s dominant teams played in 2015. The Senior Circuit featured the only 100-win team from the season, while also posting two really strong wild cards that would have been worthy division champions anywhere else. It is safe to say that whoever emerges with the NL Pennant has the talent to overcome the fact that the AL has home-field advantage in the World Series.
After the Cubs rode Jake Arrieta‘s red-hot momentum, the field is set in the NL. Today we make our traditional picks and predictions for what should be two fascinating series.
Mets (90-72) vs. Dodgers (92-70)
Game 1: October 9th @ Los Angeles
On paper, a matchup like Dodgers-Mets is everything we hope for when the playoffs arrive. There are 3,000 miles between franchises that have very little in common, except for the fact that they both have some of the best pitchers baseball has to offer. However, while the Dodgers are built on their largesse and the league’s most bloated payroll, the Mets emerged from obscurity to surprise everybody and win a division that they weren’t supposed to contend for. Both franchises are built to win for many years, but for very different reasons.
And as we will be able to feast on the historic backdrop of Dodger Stadium and the faux-retro sights of Citi Field, these teams will battle for the chance to advance to the NLCS and a possible title that has been denied for both of them since the late 80’s. The Dodgers have to shake off many years of coming up short in the NLDS, while the Mets are probably just happy to be here for the first time since 2006, evoking memories of Carlos Beltran‘s called strike three.
If we hold back to the adage that pitching wins championships, both of these teams should be well-suited to have high expectations. For starters, the Mets finished seventh in baseball in pitching WAR, with the fourth-best ERA, and ninth-best strikeout rate. In those same categories, the Dodgers ranked second, fifth, and fourth, respectively. Just looking at the probable pitching matchups for the first 3 games of the series makes every baseball fan salivate with excitement:
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