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Who should Rays fans root for? Mets vs Dodgers Edition

The Dodgers. The answer is the Dodgers.

Is it just me, or does AF look a little like Jerry Lewis here?
Is it just me, or does AF look a little like Jerry Lewis here?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I'm sure if you're from New York or Los Angeles, this game is pregnant with storylines. East Coast vs West Coast. A match up of the nation's two largest cultural (ha!) centers. The former Brooklyn boys of summer playing the Queensmen.

But Rays fans know what this is really all about: whether Andrew Friedman was just an open checkbook away from directing Tampa Bay to the promised land.

In deals designed to clear logjams as much as they were to add talent, Frieds got busy right away, starting at the Winter Meetings.

The Dodgers traded first for Howie Kendrick, then for Yasami Grandal for the price of Dee Gordon and the declining game of Matt Kemp. They brought in Jimmy Rollins to keep shortstop warm for uberprospect Corey Seager. And in a couple under-the-radar moves, he brought in free agent Brandon McCarthy, and traded for Mike Bolsinger from the Diamondback and Joel Peralta from some team nobody watches in Florida.

And when did Justin Ruggiano get to LA? Was he always there? And Gabe Kapler is the farm director? Holy cow, the things I'm learning while I write these pre-caps.

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

To be fair, the Dodgers look surprised to see Justin too.

Anyway, these players were added to an already formidable roster that included Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, ex-Ray Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and young star-in-the-making Joc Pederson.

Add that to the best front end of the rotation in baseball in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and even down years from several stars were not enough to derail LA as they coasted to 92-win season and a division title.

The Mets took a decidedly different route to the playoffs. Three games back of Washington and floundering in late July, they panicked, rushing prize prospect Michael Conforto to the Show and trading another for rental Yoenis Cespedes.

Rich Schultz / Getty Images

Rich Schultz / Getty Images

And one of few times in recorded history, panic, as a strategy, worked.

The tandem did much of the heavy lifting during New York's hot August and September. Behind the pitching of the ageless and amusing Bartolo Colon, and the young and exciting Noah Snydergaard, the flash of Matt Harvey, and the easy calm of Jacob de Grom, the Mets cruised to the Eastern Division crown by seven games over the imploding Nats.

It you like pitching, it should be an exciting series and well worth staying up late into the night. But the chance to see something nice happen for one of the game's good guys (Friedman), paired with the Dodgers' strong ex-Ray factor, makes this an easy choice. Go Dodgers!

The Mets and Dodgers play at 9:45 PM EST on TBS.