For the first time in nine years, the Mets are back in the playoffs. Their opponents are the Los Angeles Dodgers, the same team they faced to begin their last postseason run. However, these teams bear little resemblance to their 2006 versions.
The last time these teams met the Mets were heavy favorites, but this series can go either way. In 2006, the Mets had the best record in the National League and played host to the Dodgers, who made the playoffs as a wild-card. The series played out according to expectations despite the Mets losing Pedro Martinez and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez prior to Game 1, as the Amazin's swept the Dodgers, 3-0.
Fans can expect a longer, more competitive series this year between two teams that are more well-rounded than their 2006 counterparts. Even the records are nearly identical, as the Dodgers finished just one game better than the Mets to earn home-field advantage.
Aces wildDon't expect these teams to average a combined 10 runs per game, as they did in 2006. Both teams feature some of the top starting pitchers in the league. The Dodgers are expected to heavily use their two aces, NL Cy Young Award contender Zack Greinke and 2014 MVP Clayton Kershaw, while the Mets will be rolling out young guns Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, in that order.
Only David Wright and Andre Ethier are left from the rosters that squared off in the 2006 NLDS. Back then, Ethier had just broken in as a rookie, while Wright was having one of his best seasons in his second full year as a major leaguer. Injuries and inconsistent play have plagued both players in recent years, but the upcoming series provides a chance at redemption.