On the surface, the Mets seem to be the better choice. The Cubs went 7-0 against them in the regular season and getting to New York means a short flight and only one time zone change. Not so when you play the Dodgers, who beat the Cubs four times out of seven this year. Los Angeles is a longer flight and a two-hour time change, plus the Mets don’t have anyone named Kershaw or Greinke to contend with. So on the surface the Mets seem like the better option. But that’s not necessarily the case.
The Dodgers won’t be able to open the series with either Zack Greinke or Clayton Kershaw unless the latter starts on three day’s rest. That’s not likely to happen, considering he just did so in the NLDS. Greinke is pitching on Thursday night in Game 5 so he won’t be available until the series shifts to Chicago. And Greinke’s ERA was “higher” on the road (1.88) than at home (1.46).
After those two pitchers the Dodgers are thin in their rotation, while the Mets are much deeper and feature somewhat interchangeable pitchers in Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Their lineup is more rounded than when the Cubs first played them and their bullpen is better than the Dodgers' bullpen. Plus, the Mets seem to have the same mojo working for them that the Cubs possess. Some wonder if the Dodgers have it.
Finally -- and maybe most important -- the Cubs just got done bashing the St. Louis Cardinals' pitching staff thanks to some unseasonably warm temperatures. There’s little doubt warm weather favors the home run-hitting Cubs more than the other two teams left. Los Angeles may not have the wind but the Cubs are guaranteed warmer conditions there than in either Chicago or New York. The better pick to get to the World Series for the Cubs is to take on the Dodgers.
Either way, the Cubs have some positive memories playing in both cities this season. Before sweeping the Mets in July, manager Joe Maddon had "Simon the Magician" perform for the team to much applause and after losing the first two games in Los Angeles in August Jake Arrieta no-hit the Dodgers on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball." Then the Cubs wore their pajamas home on an overnight flight.