The gap is significant between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers since Jeurys Familia struck out Howie Kendrick to end Game 5 of the 2015 National League Division Series. The teams were separated by one game in the standings that season, but the Dodgers are 29½ games better over the past two seasons.
The Dodgers went to the NL Championship Series in 2016 and are dominating in 2017. The Mets barely made the postseason in 2016, losing in the NL wild-card game to the Giants, and they have been riddled with issues this season.
After their 2015 playoff run, the Dodgers had a “mutual parting of ways” with manager Don Mattingly. They replaced him with 2004 Red Sox AL Championship Series hero and 10-year major league veteran Dave Roberts, who had virtually no managerial experience.
The Dodgers' record since he took over is the best in the majors. Roberts was the quickest to both 150 and 160 wins with the club since the team moved to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers have been fueled in part by two young stars -- one who won Rookie of the Year last year, and another who is likely to win this year, adding to the franchise’s record total of 17 winners of the award (the Yankees and A’s are next with eight each).
Despite having by far the most winners, before 2016 the Dodgers hadn’t had a Rookie of the Year since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996.
Seager was the third rookie to finish in the top three of the NL MVP voting, the first since 1952.
Bellinger’s power this season is incredibly rare for a rookie. He has six multihomer games, the second most by any rookie in baseball history. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that only Mark McGwire’s seven in 1987 are ahead of Bellinger's total.
The Dodgers have the best record in the majors since his April 25 debut. They are likely to have consecutive Rookie of the Year winners for the first time since Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo and Hollandsworth won from 1992 to 1996.
Entering the 2017 season, Terry Collins hoped that the team would have five starters make 30 starts each.
That was wishful thinking. From 2013 to 2016, no team had five starters make at least 30 starts. In fact, only two teams managed that from 2007 to 2016 -- the 2012 Reds and the World Series-winning 2012 Giants.
The only starter in the Mets' rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to even make at least 25 starts last season was Syndergaard. He and deGrom (Sept. 1) were the only ones to make it to September.
All but one of the Mets' potential starters entering the season has spent at least 20 days on the disabled list. Three missed more than two months, including Opening Day starter Syndergaard, who has missed the most time of all of them.
A simple way to put it: The 2017 Dodgers have had six starters make at least 15 starts. The 2017 Mets have had two starters make at least 15 starts, as noted in the chart above.
Pitchers aren't the only ones who have missed time. The Mets at various points during the 2017 season lost:
- Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes for six weeks with a hamstring injury.
- Familia for three months and counting with a blood clot in his arm.
- Second baseman Neil Walker for six weeks with a torn hamstring.
- Infielder Asdrubal Cabrera for three weeks (two stints on the disabled list -- thumb).
- Catcher Travis d’Arnaud for three weeks with a wrist injury.
- Outfielder Juan Lagares for nine weeks and counting with thumb and oblique injuries.