Jon Lester has been given the ball to start Game 1 at Citi Field. The two-time World Series winner was brought in by Epstein for this very exact scenario. That’s to translate his 2.65 postseason era and to use that experience for Saturday’s occasion.
The man who we initially thought would get the Game 1 start, Jake Arrieta, will instead take the rubber for Game 2. The future NL CY Young award winner was 2-0 against the Mets this season and provides New York with that much more pressure to win Game 1. Let’s just say if Lester wins, it will almost feel as if Game 2 will have the Mets season hanging in the balance. Look at his stuff while pitching against the Mets earlier in the season at Citi Field. Straight filthy.
Outside of their front-end of the rotation, Kyle Kendricks and Jason Hammel prove to be much weaker to have for Games 3 & 4 in comparison to the Mets’ back-end of the rotation with Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. Essentially, this could be one of those crazy series which could foreshadow both teams botching their home-field advantage due to the differences in their rotation.
Make no mistake about it, the Mets’ front-end with Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom is just about as good as it gets. However, Matt Harvey’s inning limits, and the tough love he’s now received from both the fan base and his teammates lead to a shaky Game 3 in the NLDS.
Winner: As a whole, the Mets starting rotation is better. However, the slight edge will go to the Cubs Games 1 & 2 starters, as the advantage will favor the Mets starting staff in Games 3 & 4.