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It'll be a clash of styles of sorts for two fastball-oriented pitchers on opposite sides of that pitch's usage spectrum. Here's how they match up.
Matt Harvey, Mets
Against the Royals Harvey has never faced the Royals in his career
Loves/hates to face: The only Royals position player with experience against Harvey is Alex Rios, who is 1-for-3.
Why he'll win: The shackles of his innings limits removed, Harvey will be free to work as deeply into Game 1 as he can. The powerful righty owns a 2.53 ERA in 65 regular-season starts and is fresh off a strong National League Championship Series performance.
Pitcher beware: The Royals ranked first in hitting and second in slugging against fastballs thrown at 95 mph or higher, and Harvey throws a lot of those. Harvey's arsenal consists of more than 60 percent fastballs, according to Brooks Baseball. If he can't command his secondary pitches, Harvey could be in for a short night.
Bottom line: Concerned fatigue may be hindering Jacob deGrom, the Mets are tapping Harvey for Game 1 hoping he provides the type of outing deGrom has made routine this postseason. The Mets also like their chances riding Harvey's unflappable mound demeanor in what should be a hostile environment at Kauffman Stadium.
Edinson Volquez, Royals
Against the Mets
Career: 9 GS, 2-5, 5.70 ERA
Loves to face: Curtis Granderson, .000 (0-for-9), 4 K's; David Wright, .154 (2-for-13).
Hates to face: Juan Lagares, .375 (3-for-8); Juan Uribe, .300 (3-for-10), 4 BB.
Why he'll win: Volquez's best pitch is his sinker, which he throws 44 percent of the time and accounts for 85 percent of his fastballs. If used effectively, the sinkers could neutralize New York's largest offensive threat: the home run. While the Royals are built on contact and speed, the Mets are a slugging squad. If Volquez can induce enough ground balls, it will prove paramount.
Pitcher beware: Volquez is coming off a rough performance. He took the loss in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, surrendering five runs in five innings, courtesy of four walks and one big Troy Tulowitzki double.
Bottom line: Volquez is better rested than Yordano Ventura and has been more effective than Johnny Cueto in general. He represents the Royals' best starting option at the moment and has experience against several Mets from his time in the NL.