By: Joe Messineo

Predicting Mets Vs. Dodgers And Other Divisional Round Games


The cruel Wild Card games are behind us, and now the MLB playoffs are really under way. In the Divisional Round, eight teams will face off in five-game series to determine which four advance to the League Championship Series. So who will be moving on? Here are our picks.

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets

The National League match-ups are significantly tougher to handicap than the American League ones. In the Mets-Dodgers series, two very similar teams will go strength-versus-strength. Both teams rely on strong starting pitching to offset weaker offenses.

The Dodgers have two pitchers – Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke – that are better than anyone the New York Mets’ rotation this year. But the Mets have better number three and four guys, and they have a much-improved offense (thanks to the trade for CF Yoenis Cespedes) that can easily out-hit LA’s.

Our pick: New York Mets

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs

Over the 162-game regular season, the Cardinals out-dueled their two National League Central rivals. As a result, the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates were exiled to the single-elimination National League Wild Card Game. That was a cruel fate, and it cost Pittsburgh dearly. The Cubs, however, are still here – and some advanced metrics suggest that they may now be World Series favorites.

These teams are remarkably evenly matched. The Cardinals won 100 games in the regular season; the Cubs, 97. Both teams have strong pitching and comparatively weak hitting. One key to this series: Jake Arrieta will only be able to start one game in the five-game series. The Cubs rely heavily on Arrieta, who won an MLB-best 22 games this season. Their pitching depth beyond him is solid, but perhaps not better than the Cardinals’.

Our pick: St. Louis Cardinals

American League

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers

The Blue Jays have been unstoppable ever since they made smart mid-season trades to acquire a new ace (David Price) and a new slugger (SS Troy Toluwitzki). In the Divisional Round, they’ll take on the upstart Texas Rangers, who clinched the AL West on the last day of the season.

There’s a clear separation in this series. The Rangers won only five fewer games than the Blue Jays this year, but the Jays stats over the second half are more relevant and more spectacular than their full-year record. The Jays are 43-17 since their deadline trades. 43-17! That’s a .717 win percentage. Unbelievable.

Our pick: Toronto Blue Jays

Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros

The Royals held onto the league’s best record for much of the year. They didn’t quite manage to hold off the National League squads, but they were the top team in their own league: they managed two wins more than the Blue Jays did.

The Astros were similarly well-positioned earlier in the year, with a chance of winning their division that rose above 90% at points during the second half. Unlike the Royals, though, they couldn’t close it out: the Astros slipped so far that they almost missed the playoffs entirely.

The Astros snagged a Wild Card spot in the end, and they beat the Yankees thanks to the efforts of Cy Young frontrunner Dallas Keuchel. But now Keuchel will be limited to just one start against Kansas City, and the Astros’ late-season slump may finally cost them.

Our pick: Kansas City Royals


About Joe Messineo

Joe is a co-founder of Rukkus, a web & mobile marketplace for sports tickets. As a former Division I pitcher, he has a deep love for sports and a passion for writing.

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