While the National League Wild Card Series doesn't start until Friday, the New York Mets have already revealed their starting pitcher for Game 1 against the San Diego Padres.
For teams with a clear-cut top starter, this would be an easy decision. It's a bit trickier for the Mets, however, because they have two legitimate aces in Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Only one of them can start Game 1, however, making manager Buck Showalter's choice somewhat difficult.
New York Mets Game 1 Starter
Showalter has tabbed Scherzer to start New York's first playoff game since 2016. While deGrom is certainly qualified, it's easy to see why the Mets are going with Mad Max.
For starters, Scherzer has considerably more postseason experience. He's already won a World Series title with the Washington Nationals in 2019 and has made 21 playoff starts. The 38-year-old's October track record is impressive, as he owns a 3.22 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP with 160 strikeouts in 128 2/3 playoff innings.
deGrom, on the other hand, has only made a handful of postseason starts. All four of his playoff outings came back in 2015, so it's been awhile since he's played under the bright lights of October.
Scherzer is also coming off a better regular season. While both Cy Young winners missed time with injury, Scherzer still managed to go 11-5 with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in 23 starts in 2022. deGrom, meanwhile, only made 11 starts and faltered down the stretch, posting a 6.00 ERA over his final four turns.
While deGrom has been with New York longer, Scherzer is more deserving of the Game 1 assignment based on the numbers. And if Scherzer wins Game 1, having deGrom ready to close out the series in Game 2 looks like a pretty good plan. The Mets are currently -154 moneyline favorites for Game 1 on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.