Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we discussed the year’s two big home run chases. This week we’re tackling the two best teams in the National League.
Matt Snyder: I was really tempted to go with the Mets. You see Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation, Chris Bassitt behind them, Edwin Díaz at the back end of the bullpen and a well-rounded lineup around superstars Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor and picking them becomes pretty sexy. Plus, the Dodgers’ rotation is banged up.
The Dodgers are just better, though. They have so much organizational depth and have built up such a lead that they’ll be able to line things up in the rotation and bullpen before October hits. The lineup is potentially as scary as we’ve seen in years. They’ve barely even lost in July and August. It’s a ridiculous team. I can’t bet against them right now.
R.J. Anderson: Nothing against the Mets — it’s not hard to envision them winning the pennant — but I’ll go with the Dodgers. I think a lot of people outside of Los Angeles are suffering from Dodgers fatigue, and that helps to explain why they feel overlooked despite having an unreal season. The Dodgers could conceivably post a run differential greater than 300; as it stands, only one team (the Yankees) is within 100 runs of them. That’s absurd. The Dodgers are having an all-time great season, and maybe their recent injuries cause them to fall short in October, but they have to be considered the favorites and the most dangerous in the playoffs until they’re knocked out.
Dayn Perry: I have to say Dodgers, rotation health concerns notwithstanding. The offense is elite, and they have the roster depth to play matchups very well. Also, the bullpen despite being banged up for much of the year has been one of MLB‘s best to the extent that they’re probably going to have tough roster decisions among relievers in the postseason. I think that bullpen depth will help them paper over any rotation weaknesses, and the offense is capable of doing big damage against anyone.
Mike Axisa: It can be easy to fall into the trap of picking the team with the pitching advantage — remember when the Orioles started Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Bud Norris in the 2014 ALDS and swept the Tigers with Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and David Price? — but I think Scherzer and deGrom are a special case. Seeing them potentially four times in a best-of-seven is no joke. Adding in Bassitt and Taijuan Walker, and you have a formidable top four. The Dodgers are excellent and I like their bullpen, defense, and offense more than the Mets, but I think the rotation advantage is significant if leveraged properly in a short series. So, I’ll say the Mets. Scherzer and deGrom give me Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling with the 2001 Diamondbacks vibes.