As we near the start of Game 4 of the NLDS between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, we break down each side’s advantages.
By Gerard Oberle
In the shape of a 13-7 win the New York Mets have taken a 2-1 lead in the National League Divisional Series.
Game 4 in Queens is set for tonight. On the mound, Mets rookie Steven Matz will square off with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
In theory, the series-leading Mets have the momentum, and a rabid home crowd ready to cheer them on. That being said, the Dodgers will have their super ace (Kershaw) posing a real threat to the Mets seemingly hot lineup.
The game predicts to be a an absolute nail biter with each team having their own positives to look forward to. At the risk of sounding cliche…this a game that can truly go either way – a coin flip.
Here are the pros and cons for both the Dodgers and Mets.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Clayton Kershsaw on the mound. Simply the greatest pitcher of his generation, forget about the past postseason statistics.
- Steven Matz’s inexperience. He’s a great young pitcher, and one who seems to love the big stage. Nonetheless he has to prove it on just that — the biggest stage.
- Potential game five back home. Win game four, and your prize is Zack Greinke in friendly confines.
- Rising pressure. Baseballs biggest payroll for this? No excuse, get out of the first round.
- Kershaw pitching on short rest. Yes, this is the best pitcher in baseball. Still, Kershaw is human, and will be pitching on three days rest. Far from ideal.
- Playing in hostile territory. Citi field is becoming an absolute mad house. Better pack some ear plugs.
New York Mets
- Home field. Bad for the Dodgers, great for the Mets. If you thought Monday’s Citi Field crowd was bonkers, wait to you see tonight’s.
- Confident bats. Brett Anderson woke up a sleeping bear. Watch out Manhattan because Yoenis Céspedes home run is heading your way.
- Momentum. Coming off a 13-7 win, the first playoff series win in nine years… That is just one of the great Mets possibilities for tonight.
- Facing Clayton Kershaw. It’s a positive for the Dodgers and a negative for the Mets. The Mets will have to grind out every at bat just to hope to have any success vs. Kershaw.
- Steven Matz’s health. Coming off a minor back injury, Matz’s health is bit of an unknown.
- Long in between start layoff for Matz. Matz hasn’t pitched for the Mets since September 24. Finding the command early could be a real struggle.
- Potentially returning to LA for game five. Better finish the job while you can. Beating Greinke for the second time in LA would be no small task.