NLDS Preview, Continued

Mets vs. Dodgers
On paper, this matchup should be all Mets. But the recent loss of Pedro Martinez, the injury to El Duque and the unknown durability of elders Steve Trachsel and Tom Glavine this far into the season- and their careers- puts the Mets' starting pitching in a precarious position, not to mention their bullpen. The brightside is, this Mets club has enough firepower to play football score-type games against the Dodgers- who by the way do not exactly have the '95 Braves as their starting staff (despite the presence of Greg Maddux).

Matchup to watch
1-2-3-4-5 versus 1-2-3-4-5. Because the starting pitching in this series is "flip-a-coin" scary, the key will be the tablesetters and the run producers. Here's the top-5 of the lineup comparison. My edge is in bold.

Furcal versus Reyes
Lofton versus LoDuca
Garciaparra versus Beltran
Kent versus Delgado
Drew versus Wright

If you take the score, you get 3-2 Mets. And that's about the best way to sum up the series.

My Pick: Mets in 5. The starting pitching is a wash, so figure someone has to take a loss anyway. and take a loss these pitchers will. But if Carlos Beltran "Playoff Monster" returns from 2 years ago, and he's backed up by Delgado and Wright in the 4-5 spots, this team should bash their way to the NLCS.