Capitalizing on the New York Mets getting swept in a doubleheader, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched home-field advantage for the National League Division Series with a win against the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
While Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has not yet set the Dodgers’ starting rotation for the series, the Mets already have their starters in place for the first three games, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin:
Jacob deGrom will start Friday’s opener at Dodger Stadium, likely against Clayton Kershaw. Noah Syndergaard then gets Game 2 in Los Angeles, followed by Matt Harvey in Game 3 when the series shifts to Citi Field, manager Terry Collins said Sunday.
Should Game 4 be necessary, the Mets are hopeful Steven Matz will be available:
The Mets would like rookie left-hander Steven Matz to start Game 4, but his availability remains in question. Matz has been suffering from spasms in his upper back and has not pitched in a major league game since Sept. 24. Matz received an injection Friday to try to relax the muscle, and the Mets hope he can throw 90 to 100 pitches in an instructional league game in Florida on Thursday.
If Matz is unavailable for Game 4, Bartolo Colon may start, or the Mets could send Jacob deGrom back to the hill on short rest. Noah Syndergaard would be available for a potential Game 5 on regular rest.
Although it hasn’t been announced yet, it’s expect Clayton Kershaw will oppose deGrom in Game 1, followed by Zack Greinke in Game 2, and either Brett Anderson or Alex Wood in Game 3 in New York.
Further delving into the Mets’ NLDS rotation, their decision to start the rookie Syndergaard in Game 2 in Los Angeles, as opposed to Game 3 at home, presents some intrigue. The 23 year old has a 2.46 ERA in 12 home starts this season, and a 4.23 ERA in 12 road starts.
However, Syndergaard allowed only one run on two hits in six innings at Dodger Stadium on July 3. Additionally, he went 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA over his final three road starts of the regular season. deGrom threw four no-hit innings and had seven strikeouts in his final tuneup on Sunday.
Harvey pitching with an innings limit presumably also factored into the Mets’ decision to push him back to Game 3, which would allow for Harvey to make more starts in the postseason should New York advance.