Royals rotation: Edinson Volquez to start Game 1, Johnny Cueto to start Game 2

Ned Yost


– Update, Oct. 26, 2:13 pm –

The Royals announced Edinson Volquez will start Game 1 of the World Series, followed by Johnny Cueto in Game 2, Yordano Ventura in Game 3, and Chris Young in Game 4.

– Original Post, 10:57 am – 

Royals manager Ned Yost is playing hardball, at least over his starting rotation.

On Sunday at Kauffman Stadium, the manager refused to reveal his plans for Kansas City’s starting rotation for the World Series.

Asked why he wasn’t prepared to make an announcement, Yost said, “Because I’m being a little bit of a punk.”

The Mets, meanwhile, have already announced their plans for the starting rotation. Matt Harvey will open the World Series for the Mets on Tuesday, followed by Jacob deGrom in Game 2, Noah Syndergaard in Game 3, and Steven Matz in Game 4.

But all signs point to Edinson Volquez starting on Tuesday night against Harvey in Game 1.


Yordano Ventura – who has been the Royals best pitcher as of late – started Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Blue Jays on Friday night. So he would only be starting on three-days rest in Game 1 of the World Series.

It’s more likely Ventura would start in Game 2 on Wednesday, with with Johnny Cueto or Chris Young getting the ball in Game 3.

Volquez has suddenly featured electrifying stuff in the postseason with a fastball in the 97-98 mph range, 4-5 mph faster than his season’s average. But it’s that electricity which could be causing him to lose stamina in his outings – he’s averaging under 5 2/3 inning pitched per start and has had two ineffective outings already in the playoffs.

The Mets have hit Volquez hard in his career, as he’s gone 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA in nine career starts against them.

2015 Mets World SeriesThe Mets have historically handled Cueto as well, lighting him up to the tune of a 4.02 ERA in 11 appearances while taking advantage of his erraticness, drawing 27 walks in 65 innings.

And then there’s the former Met Young, who is deceptive with his height, long stride and awkward delivery. But the Mets have done well against their former mate, scoring 13 runs in 19 1/3 innings over four career appearances.

If there is a weak point with the Royals, it is in their starting pitching, and they don’t have their rotation aligned in a way they’d probably prefer, thanks to Ventura having to pitch in Game 6 of the ALCS. They had the eighth-worst starters ERA in all of baseball at 4.34, but their bullpen more than made up for that to give them the tenth-best overall ERA in the sport at 3.74.

So, the Mets strength in their starting pitching will have to live up to their reputation if they are to gain a true advantage in this series. They need to out-pitch them early in games and avoid getting into the sixth inning and later behind in these games if they’re going to win the World Series.

And for the most part, that’s exactly what’s happened for the Mets to this point in the postseason.


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Looking at team performance versus Volquez, Cueto, et al. don’t matter much, right?. How have guys on this Mets postseason roster performed versus these pitchers in recent years? And how have SPs on both sides performed with this umpiring crew members behind the plate?


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