After the offensive heroics featured in both ALDS swan songs, be prepared for some serious pitching in tonight’s NLDS finale. Lights out, high heat, crazy and almost illegal breaking and offspeed stuff.
The Game: New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Time: 8:07 p.m. ET
The Place: Dodger Stadium
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Jacob deGrom vs. Zack Greinke
The Upshot: It’s hard to imagine a more even series ending on a more even footing. Both teams have two wins, both teams trot an insanely talented ace out to the mound in the California sunset tonight. deGrom absolutely stifled the Dodgers in Game 1, striking out 13 and not allowing a run over seven innings of work. Greinke wasn’t quite as invincible in Game 2 but he still got the win. And, of course, he’s been damn nigh unstoppable this season, leading the league in ERA (1.66) and WHIP (0.844). If you manage to not strike out against deGrom and manage to reach base at all against Greinke, thank your lucky stars, because you just did something extraordinary.
All of which turns the focus to the lineups. With the possible exception of Yasmani Grandal, who is 50/50 to play tonight given his tweaked shoulder, everyone’s at full strength. Not that even the full strength lineups have had great luck against the aces in this series. The best bet for the Mets: endure Greinke and get to the soft underbelly of the Dodgers’ bullpen if possible. Best bet for the Dodgers: hope deGrom is off his game. Basically, both lineups are going to be at the mercy of these golden arms, each capable of delivering an October classic.