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Mets' regulars should remain regulars in NLCS

Several everyday Mets hitters struggled against the Dodgers' pair of aces, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't play against the Cubs.

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Despite a thirteen-run breakout against Brett Anderson in Game 3, the Mets had a tough series at the plate against the Dodgers in the NLDS. They did so against two of the very best pitchers in baseball this year: Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, who started four of the five games. As a result, several Mets regulars had rather pedestrian stats in the opening series. But that doesn't really mean much going forward.

Six Mets hitters were very good in the regular season when healthy. Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Lucas Duda, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and Travis d'Arnaud all finished the year between a 131 and 135 wRC+. Daniel Murphy was no slouch, either, with a 110, and Kelly Johnson and Michael Cuddyer finished at 107 and 104, respectively.

As the Mets prepare for the National League Championship Series against the Cubs, their regular players should continue to get the vast majority of the playing time. Weighing the NLDS stats too heavily would be foolish over any five-game sample, particularly one against the caliber of pitching the Mets faced in those five games.

That doesn't mean the team should completely ignore platoon splits, of course. But if the team were to want to platoon someone against the left-handed Jon Lester tonight, Curtis Granderson, who had just a .273 OBP and .286 SLG against lefties this year, would make a lot more sense than Lucas Duda, who had a .333 OBP and .545 SLG against them. It doesn't seem likely that Granderson actually will sit against Lester or any lefty starter the rest of the way, as Collins worked in Cuddyer and Juan Lagares at the expense of Michael Conforto, not Granderson, against lefties in the NLDS.

Considering the team barely let Conforto face lefties after promoting him in late July, the status quo from the NLDS is essentially fine. The bench—Kelly Johnson, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Kevin Plawecki, Matt Reynolds, and whichever two outfielders don't start among Cuddyer, Conforto, and Lagares—isn't what it would be with Juan Uribe but is solid. They just shouldn't see nearly as much time at the plate as the players ahead of them on the depth chart.