The Mets want home field advantage in the NLDS, but will rest players as needed
The Mets enter play on Wednesday with an 83-62 record with 17 games to play. The Dodgers, meanwhile have played one fewer game and are 83-61 with 18 games to play.
If the playoffs began today, the Mets would open the National League Division Series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
This is a scenario the Mets would like to avoid, as they’d prefer to face both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in New York when they open the Division Series, rather than Los Angeles.
“They’re well aware,” manager Terry Collins said on Tuesday about his team playing for home field advantage. “We play pretty good here. We’d like to open up here. It beats facing those two animals out there in the shadows. That’s not very much fun. If we get in, we’d like to open up here. But I gotta tell you, we just want to win.”
But Collins said the importance for the club is not only on winning games right now and clinching the National League East, but also ensuring they have an ability to win when the bell rings in October.
Having said that, Collins could be willing to rest some of his regulars when and if the team does win the National League East, especially if it happens before the end of the regular season.
“We’re just trying to win,” the manager said. “If it means resting guys so we stay strong and stay healthy and somebody gets a night off [we will do it].
“If it doesn’t affect the game, which I don’t think it does due to the depth we have on our bench right now. It’s all about getting in right now. It’s not about where we play,” he concluded.
The Mets won their season series from the Dodgers 4-3, so if the two teams finish with identical records, the Mets would win home field advantage in the Division Series.
They split four games at Citi Field while winning two of three in Los Angeles, and they went 2-2 in games started by both Greinke and Kershaw as well.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, went 1-2 in games they faced Matt Harvey, and Jacob deGrom.