Why the Mets are the Dodgers’ biggest threat in the postseason

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The Dodgers are on pace to break their franchise record for wins (106) and may break the MLB record for victories in a season (116), but the Mets remain a significant postseason threat to Dodgers because of their elite starting pitching.

The Mets have a top-heavy rotation of Jacob deGrom (4-1, 1.98 ERA), Max Scherzer (9-4, 2.26) and Chris Bassitt (12-7, 3.32), with the back end of Carlos Carrasco (13-6, 3.91) and Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.45) putting up impressive numbers in their own right. They also have enough bats to do damage against anyone, the Dodgers included.

The Mets won the season series against Los Angeles 4-3, outscoring the Dodgers 25-22.

Walker pitched 11 innings and held the Dodgers to five runs. Bassitt threw 12 innings, holding Los Angeles to five runs and outdueling Clayton Kershaw in a start. DeGrom was his usual dominant self, pitching seven innings, allowing one run and striking out nine. The Dodgers did not face Scherzer in the regular season.

In the playoffs, the Dodgers, if healthy, will have Tony Gonsolin (16-1, 2.10), Julio Urías (15-7, 2.29) and Clayton Kershaw (7-3, 2.59) at the top of the rotation, with Tyler Anderson (13-3, 2.68) and Andrew Heaney (2-2, 2.94) at the back end.

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Gonsolin, out recently with a forearm injury, could resume throwing soon, per this Sports Illustrated report. In any case, Urias could step up as the team’s postseason ace, per Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com.

Anderson pitched the best this season against New York. In two games and 11 innings, he allowed two runs. Gonsolin pitched well in his one start this season against the Mets, allowing no runs in six innings.

Urías didn’t have his sharpest stuff in his start against the Mets this season but pitched well enough to give the Dodgers a chance. He went 5.1 innings, allowing one run. Kershaw and Heaney both pitched five innings in their starts against New York, giving up one and two runs, respectively. 

ESPN baseball analyst David Schoenfeld, writing before the Dodgers’ recent series against the Mets, worries about Los Angeles’ bullpen: “The problem is manager Dave Roberts still doesn’t have a lockdown closer he can trust.”

The Dodgers’ lineup is the deepest in baseball. Los Angeles leads MLB in batting average (.261), RBI (687), runs (720), on-base percentage (.337) and slugging percentage (.450). Given the sterling rotation L.A. has as well, it makes sense the Dodgers are the favorites.

However, the Mets’ starting pitching could be the great equalizer in the playoffs with a pair of mutlitime Cy Young winners leading the charge for a team that has shown it can defeat the Dodgers this season.

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