There is nothing better than a World Series rematch to take over primetime TV to start off the MLB season. The New York Mets will be on the road for this Opening Day series against the defending champion Kansas City Royals, and there is most certainly unfinished business between both squads. Rumors have stated the Royals will seek revenge for Noah Syndergaard's questionable fastball that brushed back Alcides Escobar in Game 3 of the World Series. Heated competition is sure to be found at Kauffman Stadium as both teams will looked to make a statement to start the season.
Sunday: Matt Harvey (WS: 0-0, 3.21 ERA) v. Edinson Volquez (WS 0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Terry Collins gives Harvey the nod on Opening Day for the second year in a row even though the ace has not been at his best this spring. News swirling around the 26-year-old about his nightlife and his recent bladder issue has been one big distraction for the hurler. With a 7.50 ERA and 1-2 record in 12 innings of work so far, Harvey will look to change the tides to start his 2016 campaign.
Edinson Volquez will be entering his 12th year in the MLB, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon. He has posted 13 wins in his last two seasons, and Royals manager Ned Yost awards the veteran with the ball on Opening Day. This spring, Volquez has a 2-1 record with a 3.95 ERA and 12 strikeouts.
Pitching Edge: Both starters put on a show in the World Series, and more of the same should be expected from them on Sunday. The edge should be given to Volquez only because he has the home crowd behind him. However, Harvey has thrived in the big spotlight, and it doesn’t help the Royals that he will seek revenge for that crushing Game 5 loss.
Tuesday: Noah Syndergaard (WS: 1-0, 4.50 ERA) v. Ian Kennedy (2015: 9-15, 4.28 ERA)
The flame throwing Syndergaard is coming off an impressive rookie season finishing with a 9-7 record with a 3.24 ERA and 166 strikeouts. He has been stellar this spring as well with a consistent 20 strikeouts in 20 innings of work.
Coming over from the San Diego Padres, Kennedy will look to take advantage of playing for a top contender in the AL Central. He hasn’t had that good of a spring going 0-3 with a 6.30 ERA, but he is as consistent as they come on the mound throwing strikes and making hitters earn their bases.
Pitching Edge: Although Kennedy has more league experience than Syndergaard, the young Mets pitcher understands the atmosphere that is created when these two teams take the field, which is why he gets the edge. Kennedy will learn the hard way while Syndergaard should be poised knowing he beat this team once before.
More About This Series
Last season’s Fall Classic daunted great, young talent that fans cannot wait to see mature into prominent forces in the league. As the Mets and Royals return complete teams on both sides of the ball, many project these two to win their respective divisions and make another playoff push in 2016.