Looking at the two teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are very close on paper. Both teams pitch well, hit a lot of home runs and don’t steal many bases.
One thing the Dodgers do have over the Mets is experience, as most of the Dodgers have been in the postseason the past two years, as well as other years. The biggest matchup appears to be the pitching staffs, as reigning MVP and Cy Young Clayton Kershaw and Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke will take on a young Mets rotation full of hard-throwing pitchers.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (via Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes), one Mets outfielder believes their pitching is better than the Dodgers:
I would say in quality, in just pure talent, our pitching is superior to theirs,” Cespedes told ESPN Deportes’ Marly Rivera in Spanish. “Whether things go well for us or not, that is another matter. But in terms of ability, our pitchers are so young, with great arms, a very good pitching staff. I think what they have to do is believe in themselves and get it into their heads that they can do this, and things will work out.”
It’s true that after the Dodgers duo at the top, the rotation falls off a bit to Brett Anderson, but Anderson enjoyed his first full season since 2009 and is capable of shutting any team down. Alex Wood may start Game 4 and he’s no slouch either. In terms of bullpen, the Mets hold a slight advantage in the numbers; however, they lack a shutdown arm in the later innings. Both teams have relievers capable of pitching well, but a lack of consistency has doomed them at times.
As for the Dodgers aces, Cespedes doesn’t seem fazed by the two Cy Young hopefuls:
They are pitchers of great ability, but they still have to throw the ball. The strike zone does not get any bigger. We may not perform well against them, but the fact is that they are pitchers, like any other pitcher. You have to do your job to the best of your ability. But, like them, we also have some great pitching.”
It will be an interesting series between two teams led by their starting pitchers.