Although the Los Angeles Dodgers can relax briefly while preparing for the beginning of the NLDS next Tuesday, there’s still the matter of determining which team they’ll face, as the Mets and Padres fight for the right to advance through the 2022 postseason’s wildcard series.
While many fans seemingly have different opinions as to which team the Dodgers match up better against, the consensus this year appears to be that the Padres are a more ideal matchup. In head-to-head games this season, the Dodgers defeated San Diego 14 times in 19 games. In contrast, Los Angeles only beat New York three times over seven contests.
Even though the Mets lost considerable ground in the NL East during the final few weeks of the regular season, the thought of facing Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in the NLDS makes some fans cringe. The Dodgers did not face their former teammate Scherzer this year, but they lost once the only time they squared off against deGrom.
In addition, facing New York would require travelling to the East Coast for at least one contest, where the weather has already begun to change, often dipping into the upper 40s on the cooler nights.
Although we know that Scherzer will be squaring off against Yu Darvish in the Wild Card opener, the Mets are still unsure who they’ll run out against Blake Snell in Game 2. Some reports have suggested that righty Chris Bassitt will start Game 2, saving deGrom for Game 3.
Nevertheless, the Mets were 10-10 in games started by their star duo after deGrom came off the injured list on August 2, with neither rising to the challenge against the Braves last weekend in Atlanta.
And, while the Padres haven’t been exactly setting the baseball world on fire offensively as of late, they have enough talent to be dangerous this year if the right players start heating up at the right time.
As far as regular season stats go, the Mets finished seventh in the majors with a combined 3.57 team ERA, while the Padres finished 11th at 3.81. It may also be worth noting the Mets finished 10th in the majors in team bullpen ERA while the Padres ended up 14th.
As we all know, the Dodgers ended up first in overall team ERA and combined starting pitching ERA this season while finishing second to the Astros in combined bullpen ERA.
Regarding run production, the Mets finished fifth in the MLB with 772 runs scored while the Padres ended up 13th with 705 runs. The Dodgers led the entire league with a whopping 847 runs scored.
Still, if either team gets hot at just the right time, the Dodgers could possibly have their hands full by the time Tuesday rolls around.