2006 NL Divisional League Series Preview

Los Angeles Dodgers (88-74, T-1st place in NL West) +135 to win series vs. New York Mets (97-65, 1st in NL East) -155, best-of-five National League Divisional Series
by Predictem.com Staff

The wild-card Los Angeles Dodgers meet up with the New York Mets in a best-of-five National League Divisional Series beginning Wednesday afternoon in the Big Apple.

The Mets jumped out to a big lead in the NL East this season and cruised home, eventually winning the division by 12 games over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.

Los Angeles was kind of hot and cold all season, but managed to win its last seven games in a row and finish in a tie with the San Diego Padres atop the NL West. But the Dodgers lost the tie-breaker, and fell into the wild-card slot.

New York went 50-31 at Shea Stadium this season and 47-34 on the road.

L.A. went 49-32 at Chavez Ravine and 39-42 away from home.

N.Y. won the season series with L.A. this year four games to three, with the O/U going 3-4.

Los Angeles will go with Derek Lowe (16-8, 3.63) for Wednesdays series opener. Lowe was solid this season, especially in the stretch run, posting a 9-1 record with a 2.69 ERA over his last 13 starts. Lowe also did a good job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, allowing only 14 HR in 218 IP.

Lowe made one start vs. the Mets this season, giving up two ER and nine H+W in six IP. The Dodgers went 20-14 in Lowes starts this season.

Orlando Hernandez, despite tweaking a calf muscle earlier this week, is still listed (as of Wednesday morning) as the projected starting pitcher for the Mets for Wednesdays series opener. Hernandez (11-11, 4.66) did some good work for New York after coming over from Arizona in a mid-season trade, allowing 103 H and racking up a 41/112 BB/K ratio in 116 2/3 IP. The Mets went 11-9 in Hernandezs starts this season.

Hernandez made three starts vs. the Dodgers this season, two of them while with the Diamondbacks. He gave up 10 ER and 23 H+W in 16 2/3 IP.

If Hernandez cannot go for the Mets on Wednesday, the most-mentioned candidate to take his place is rookie John Maine, who racked up a 3.60 ERA in 15 starts this season. The Mets won 10 of those games.

L.A. is expected to send H-C Kuo (1-5, 4.22) to the mound for Thursdays Game 2. Kuo made five starts this season, and overall allowed 54 H and posted a 33/71 BB/K ratio in 59 2/3 innings of work. The Dodgers went 3-2 in Kuos starts this year.

40-year-old Tom Glavine (15-7, 3.82) will take the hill for the Mets on Thursday. New York went 24-8 in Glavines starts this season.

Steve Trachsel (15-8, 4.97) is slated to go for the Mets in Saturdays Game 3 in Los Angeles. Trachsel put up a 78-79 BB/K ratio this year and a 1.60 WHIP. But somehow New York went 20-10 in Trachsels starts.

Glavines former teammate and fellow 40-year-old Greg Maddux (15-14, 4.20) will take the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday. Maddux went 6-3 for L.A. after coming over in a trade with the Cubs, posting a 3.30 ERA and a very solid 1.09 WHIP with the Dodgers, who won eight of his 12 starts for them.

The Dodgers led the NL with their .348 team OBP this season, ranked 2nd in stolen bases with 128 and averaged 5.1 runs per game.

The Mets led the league in SBs with 146, ranked 8th with a .334 team OBP and also averaged 5.1 RPG.

The L.A. bullpen ranked 15th in the majors with a 4.12 ERA.

The New York pen ranked 2nd in MLB with its 3.28 ERA.

The O/U is 88-67 in Dodgers games this season, 85-72 in Mets games.

The Mets are listed at right around 6/5 to win the NL pennant and 5/1 to win the World Series.

The Dodgers are posted at about 5/1 to win the pennant and 9/1 to win the World Series.