It all comes down to one game for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, as they meet in Game 5 of their National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night. The winner will have home-field advantage against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, which begins on Saturday.
Both Game 5 starters already have a win in the series. Mets ace Jacob deGrom threw a gem in Game 1, tossing seven shutout innings in a series opening victory in Los Angeles. Zack Greinke came back in Game 2 and helped tie the series up for L.A.
The Dodgers hope Game 5 works out for them like it did for the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals. Both teams were home in Game 5 of the ALDS, making comebacks to advance to the league championship series.
Manager Terry Collins has used a few different lineups this series, and he’ll go back to the one that the team used in Game 2. When New York faced Greinke five days ago, Michael Conforto started and hit a home run off the Dodgers pitcher. He’ll be back in the outfield, replacing Juan Lagares, who started both games at Citi Field. Michael Cuddyer started Game 1 in the outfield, and he’s been used as a pinch-hitter since. Wilmer Flores gets his third straight start at shortstop, replacing the injured Ruben Tejada.
Since Thursday night’s contest is an elimination game, the Mets’ top starters will be available out of the bullpen. Noah Syndergaard can pitch, having not started since Saturday, and Matt Harvey will be available as well. Harvey started two days ago, and New York has monitored his innings in his first season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. But Collins told reporters that Harvey said he’s willing to come out of the bullpen in Game 5.
Chase Utley hasn’t seen the field since his controversial slide in Game 2, but he’ll be available for Thursday’s elimination game, despite his suspension. The second baseman’s appeal hearing is scheduled for Monday, meaning he’s eligible to play in Game 5 and the first two games of the NLCS, if the Dodgers advance. Utley didn’t start against deGrom in Game 1, but he did pinch-hit in both games in Los Angeles.
Clayton Kershaw was masterful in Game 4, allowing one run and four baserunners in seven innings. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he didn’t know if MLB’s top pitcher would be available out of the bullpen, though it’s not likely that he’d be used after pitching just two days ago.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET. TBS will broadcast the game, and a free live stream is available online with Watch TBS.