The Kansas City Royals host the New York Mets on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium in Game 1 of the best-of-seven World Series. Both teams have waited a long time since their last title, with the Royals last winning a World Series in 1985, and the Mets seeking their first title since 1986.
After sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series, Mets manager Terry Collins has starting pitching flexibility. New York has set its rotation with right hander Matt Harvey getting the nod in the series opener. On the other side, Royals manager Ned Yost hasn't solidified anything just yet after closing out the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. But judging by where Kansas City stands in their rotation, an educated guess can be made as to who will take the ball as the series gets under way.
Below are the probable pitchers for Games 1 and 2 in Kansas City.
Game 1: New York at Kansas City —Edinson Volquez vs. Matt Harvey
Volquez likely gets the ball in Game 1 on six days’ rest after pitching last in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. He failed to make it out of the sixth, allowing five runs on three hits and four walks over five innings. In three postseason starts, Volquez has allowed eight earned runs on 10 hits and 12 walks in 16 2/3 innings. His best start came in the ALCS opener when he allowed just two hits and no runs over six innings.
Harvey, who hasn’t pitched since Oct. 17, will take the mound on 10 days’ rest. Harvey opened up the NLCS by overpowering the Cubs over 7 2/3 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out nine. In two postseason starts, Harvey has been charged with four earned runs over 12 2/3 innings and struck out 16 along the way for two wins. The Game 1 start also sets him up to pitch Game 5 at Citi Field. He ended the regular season 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 29 starts.
Game 2: New York at Kansas City —Yordano Ventura vs. Jacob deGrom
The numbers haven’t been stellar for Ventura as he’s given up 20 hits and 10 earned runs over 17 2/3 innings in four postseason starts. But he pitched 5 1/3 innings in the ALCS-clinching Game 6, allowing one run on four hits. It was his best effort of the postseason and he only threw 77 pitches. That makes Ventura (0-1) eligible to start on the customary fifth day. Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA in the regular season.
For the Mets, there is no guessing or confusion as deGrom (3-0) gets the ball in Game 2 on Wednesday. The Mets ace will pitch on seven days' rest after a strong showing in Game 3 of the NLCS. He got the win after allowing just two runs on four hits over seven innings. In three postseason starts, deGrom has allowed 15 hits and four runs in 20 innings while striking out 27. During the regular season he posted a 14-8 record and 2.54 ERA, fourth best in the majors. A start in Game 2 potentially sets deGrom up for Game 6.
Here are the projected starting pitchers for all seven games.
Game 1: New York at Kansas City— Edinson Volquez vs. Matt Harvey
Game 2: New York at Kansas City— Yordano Ventura vs. Jacob deGrom
Game 3: Kansas City at New York—Noah Syndergaard vs. Johnny Cueto
Game 4: Kansas City at New York—Steven Matz vs. Chris Young
*Game 5: Kansas City at New York—Matt Harvey vs. Edinson Volquez
*Game 6: New York at Kansas City—Jacob deGrom vs. Yordano Ventura
*Game 7: New York at Kansas City—Johnnny Cueto vs. Noah Syndergaard
* if necessary