This Could Be Your Ad! Sponsor . . .
Dodgers versus Mets!
Advertise your business, or pay tribute to your favorite team!
NLDS Preview: Dodgers vs. Mets
by Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com
October 3, 2006

New York Mets: 97-65, 834 RS/731 RA
LA Dodgers: 88-74, 820 RS/751 RA

Complete 2006 Standings

Playoff Central

With the Padres, Twins, and Yankees huge favorites in their respective series, this Dodgers/Mets matchup looks to be the most interesting of the first round.  It features one team who coasted into the playoffs, everyone assuming in July that they would represent the NL in the World Series.  It features another that quietly finished the season hotter than any other team in baseball.

The Dodgers won their final seven games to reach the postseason, but they needed to pitch 40-year old Greg Maddux on three days rest to do so.  Brad Penny is unavailable for the series with a bad back, and Nomar Garciaparra is day-to-day with a strained oblique.

Normally, this would be a case of rest versus rust on the Mets' side, but they have managed to enter the playoffs nearly as banged up as the Dodgers have.  Pedro is out eight months, and now El Duque is questionable for game one with a calf injury.  Normally I would say that he had no business opening a playoff series anyway, but the repercussions could be dire.  Either 40-year old Tom Glavine must start on three days rest in game one or have potential games four and five each pitched on three days rest.   This presumes that they do not want to use Pirate rejects Oliver Perez or Dave Williams in a playoff game.

This Mets team actually reminds me of the 2000 White Sox.  That squad enjoyed a relatively injury-free season and coasted into the playoffs.  Bu once in, there were injury questions surrounding much of their already suspect rotation.  They were easily swept by a comparable Mariners club.

I don't think that these Dodgers will sweep the Mets, but they are a much better team than most people realize.  I don't just say this because I predicted the Dodgers to win 97 games and sweep the Mets in the first round of the playoffs before the season started.  The Dodgers have several players who even exceeded my expectations for the team, particularly on offense.

I knew that the Dodgers had an A+ farm system, but I had no clue that James Loney would hit .380 in Triple-A before posting a .901 OPS with the Dodgers.  Speaking of .900+ OPS hitters, Olmedo Saenz came out of nowhere to do just that in 179 at bats.  If you had told me that Marlon Anderson would hit seven homers in 64 at bats this year, I would have asked you what the name of this new steroid was.         

Then there's also the law of averages.  Between Drew, Kent, and Nomar, you had to figure that at least one would fail to play 100 games or simply fall on their face due to worn out bodies.  that didn't happen.  The numbers put up by Loney, Russell Martin, and Andre Ethier aren't out of line with what we'd expect given their minor league history, but it is improbable that all three would immediately find that success in the bigs.

Basically, the Dodgers now have a lineup without one superstar, but with incredible balance top to bottom and depth behind it.  As the '98 Yankees or 2001 Mariners could tell you, that is an offense designed for consistent run production, and therefore designed to win a lot of ballgames.

Pitching-wise, LA has a better front three than the Mets, but the same problems afterward.  They do, however, have a deeper bullpen that could help them if a starter does need to go on short rest.  The Dodgers are going to win, but a long series could really exhaust them and make them suspect for subsequent rounds.

Prediction: Dodgers in four

  


Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith Glab resides in Chicago, Illinois, and can be reached at keith@baseballevolution.com.




 GO
BaseballEvolution Features


Award Room
MVPs, Cy Youngs, Gonzalezes and Kingmans - all of your award info and analysis right here.

Baseball Evolution Store
Books, Baseball Cards, and Memorabilia available here

Boneheads

Major sportwriters who embarrass themselves analyzing baseball.

Friends
Yes, we have them. Check out these other fantastic sites.

Fun Stuff
Check out The Name Game, Ballpark Food, Player Nicknames, and More!

Hall of Fame
See who's in, who's out, and where we differ from Cooperstown

Heated Debates
We don't always agree with each other. In fact, we often don't!

Mailbag
See what our readers write in to tell us.

News and Notes
Interesting odds and ends from around baseball

Playoff Central
Previews and analysis of all of the exciting postseason action

Predictions
As the season rolls along, check to see how accurate our 2006 predictions were.

Richard's Daily News
What does Rich see that you don't see?

Scorer's Corner
Interesting scoring oddities and rules nuances

Scouting Reports
In-depth analysis of various high-level prospects around baseball

Splitsville
We sift through all kinds of split statistics and divulge what they mean

Statistics
Your source for stats, both conventional and otherwise.

Teams Page
Find about all about your favorite team including Stats Leaders, Awards, Playoff Teams, and More.

Team Previews - 2006
See where we think the teams will finish, and what we have to say about them

Top 100s
See where we rank'em, and how we compare to Bill James, Total Baseball, and others.

Trivia
Test your baseball knowledge with our obscure knowledge quizzes!

Yankee Chronicles
From Tony, our New York insider.

1