By: Joe Messineo

Previewing Game 5 of the Mets-Dodgers NLDS


Thanks to a sterling performance from ace Clayton Kershaw in Queens the other day, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still very much alive in the 2015 postseason. They’ll take on the New York Mets in a win-or-go-home game in Chavez Ravine on Thursday, and it will be a match-up to remember. We’ll get to see a duel of aces when Zack Greinke and Jacob DeGrom take the hill, and a return for much-hated 2B Chase Utley seems likely. There will be a lot to watch for. Here’s our preview of the crucial fifth game of the Mets-Dodgers NLDS.


If this game isn’t a pitcher’s duel, then something has gone horribly wrong. The Dodgers’ Zack Greinke was, by most measures, the best pitcher in all of baseball this year. Through one start, Jacob DeGrom has a 0.00 ERA. That’s the best current mark among postseason starters (to be fair, Jake Arrieta held a 0.00 ERA for more innings than DeGrom has yet pitched, but still). Either of these pitchers is perfectly capable of taking the game over.

Advantage: Draw


The offenses involved in this game are not nearly as good as the pitchers are. The Dodgers were a bit better than the Mets in the regular season, and the Mets have the worst postseason batting of any team in the Divisional Round. That said, the Mets had one of the best offenses in the National League after adding Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline, and it’s unlikely that their postseason stats would be so bad if they hadn’t been forced to face either Greinke or Kershaw in three of their four games so far. The Dodgers have some big names, but the late-season stats show the Cespedes-infused Mets to be stronger.

Advantage: Mets

Relief pitching

Both the Mets and the Dodgers struggled to get reliable performance out of their bullpen over the second half. Both have great closers, but both have questionable middle relief. The Mets bullpen allowed fewer runs over the course of the regular season, though they’ve been having trouble with their 8th-inning guy, Tyler Clippard. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen got the 4-our save in Game 4, but things got a bit hairy in the 8th before he got out of it. The Mets middle-innings situation has looked a little stronger in the postseason, thanks to their ability to use regular-season starters in relief. Bartolo Colon has been excellent, and lefty Jonathan Niese will be useful when the Mets need to neutralize a left-handed bat. This one is close to being a push, but we’ll give a slight edge to New York.

Advantage: Mets


Neither bench is going to blow you away, but the Mets’ weak bench got even weaker when they lost starting SS Ruben Tejada to a controversial slide from Dodgers 2B Chase Utley (Utley has served with a suspension, but he remains active as he works on an appeal).

Advantage: Dodgers


It’s officially a pattern: neither of these teams have any clear strengths besides starting pitching. Neither of these managers is a tactical genius, but the Mets’ Terry Collins has proven himself a strong motivator this season. Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly struggled to keep his talented roster performing down the stretch. Mattingly exacerbated his team’s second-half struggles with some questionable roster and relief pitcher management decisions.

Advantage: Mets


Greinke is a better pitcher than DeGrom, but not by much; the Mets’ offense is better than the Dodgers’, but not by much. This is about as close as a postseason game can get. We’re going to bet on the young guy, Jake DeGrom, because we think that he can blow away the Dodgers’ bad hitters a little more easily than Greinke can blow away the Mets’ mediocre ones.

Our pick: Mets

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.

Recommended for you