The Mets announced their World Series rotation and Matt Harvey, not Jacob deGrom will take the mound in Game 1, with deGrom following him in Game 2 in Kansas City. Noah Syndergaard will start Game 3 at Citi Field and Steven Matz will take the ball in Game 4.
The decision to go with Harvey in Game 1 over deGrom has caused a bit of a stir among some critics. deGrom started Game 1 of the NLDS and has shined on the playoff stage overall, going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA while racking up 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Harvey has also performed quite well in winning both of his postseason starts, posting a 2.84 ERA and fanning 11.4 batter per nine.
If the series goes the distance, the Mets would have Harvey, deGrom, and Syndergaard going in Games 5-7, respectively, and that's where some concern has been voiced. If Game 7 in Kansas City decides the championship, should the Mets want to hand the ball to Syndergaard, a rookie who has been noticeably worse pitching on the road this season? Of course, if Syndergaard falters early in a possible Game 7, Harvey and deGrom could come on in relief since teams typically take the all-hands-on-deck approach in a clinching scenario. And, of course, Syndergaard was excellent on the road in relief in Game 5 against the Dodgers, so reading too much into his home-road splits is probably silly.
With Harvey going in Game 1 and deGrom going in Game 2, the Mets may simply be looking for the early kill in K.C.. If the Mets go up 2-0 behind their two lead stallions, and with Syndergaard looming in Game 3 with what will be a raucously loud Citi Field crowd, the Mets may not have to be overly concerned about what plays out in possible Games 5-7. Either way, the Mets will have a very good arm on the mound in possible clinching games against the Royals and don't believe for a minute that any of them will be unavailable out of the bullpen, if needed, with a championship on the line.