On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every playoff series during the 2015 season.
The Teams: The Mets left the Nationals in their wake a while back and left them fighting amongst themselves and firing their manager after they were the preseason favorites to win the World Series. They've done so with a key trade deadline acquisition of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who now must deal with the best 1-2 pitching punch in all of baseball.
Past 2015 Meetings: The Mets won the season series against the Dodgers, 4-3, but the teams haven't played since July.
Pitching Matchups: Friday — Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (16-7, 2.13); Saturday — Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24) vs. Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66).
What's Hot: Not many Mets bats are hot right now, and that's bad news given the two pitchers they're about to face. Curtis Granderson is hitting .333 with a homer over his last three games, and the aforementioned Cespedes has hit .286 in that same time. deGrom threw four shutout innings his last time out, and Syndergaard, a Mansfield native, allowed one run over seven innings.
Rookie shortstop Corey Seager, the younger brother of noted Rangers killer Kyle Seager, is hitting .500 with a homer over his last three games for the Dodgers. Second baseman Howie Kendrick is hitting .455 over that same span. Greinke allowed one run in eight innings his last time out, and Kershaw struck out seven in 3 2/3 scoreless innings in a tuneup outing.
What's Not: The Mets' bullpen has been a problem all year — one they tried to fix by landing Tyler Clippard, but it hasn't worked out like they hoped. That puts more pressure on their young starting pitchers to perform.
Some of the Dodgers' best bats — Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez — are all cold right now.