The last Game Two of the postseason. It shall be described as pivotal.

New York Mets (Jacob deGrom) at Kansas City Royals (Johnny Cueto) 8:00 p.m. Eastern

PECOTA odds of winning: 53% Mets, 47% Royals

Projected Starting Lineups

Mets vs. Cueto (R)

Royals vs. deGrom (R)

Curtis Granderson (L) RF

Alcides Escobar (R) SS

David Wright (R) 3B

Ben Zobrist (S) 2B

Daniel Murphy (L) 2B

Lorenzo Cain (R) CF

Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF

Eric Hosmer (L) 1B

Lucas Duda (L) 1B

Kendrys Morales (S) DH

Travis d'Arnaud (R) C

Mike Moustakas (L) 3B

Michael Conforto (L) LF

Salvador Perez (R) C

Wilmer Flores (R) SS

Alex Gordon (L) LF

Kelly Johnson (L) DH

Alex Rios (R) RF


The biggest question mark on the Mets' side is Juan Uribe, who missed the Division and Championship Series due to a back contusion he suffered late in the regular season. The Mets hope Uribe is well enough to serve as a pinch-hitter, but if he proves unable to fill that role, then expect utility infielder Matt Reynolds to be added to the roster later in the series.

The Royals have their own infielder-related question to answer. Ben Zobrist's wife is expecting any day now and, since there's no paternity leave during the postseason, the Royals could have to play a man short during the series. Should that come to fruition, Christian Colon would likely slot in at second base, with Raul Mondesi Jr. serving as the backup middle infielder. Regardless of how it plays out, the league would be wise to amend their postseason roster rules so that this isn't an issue in the future.

Kansas City has two other availability concerns of varying severity. Catcher Salvador Perez took a foul ball off his throwing hand in Game One, but remained behind the plate. He's likely to start Game Two. Reliever Kelvin Herrera is less likely to see action after throwing 35 pitches in Game One. During the regular season, Herrera's highest pitch count in the first game of consecutive appearances was 27. Never say never in the postseason, but if Ned Yost does turn to Herrera, it's likely to be for a short stint.


The Mets will send deGrom to the mound. You've read and heard all the stories about how the Royals are good at hitting plus fastballs. deGrom is a little different though, since he's also got high-quality command and secondary pitches.

You might wonder if the Royals will keep Cueto on a tight leash—this being the World Series and Thursday being a travel day and all—but the first two rounds showed no indication that they'll change their usage. He faced 27 and 26 batters in his first two outings, and was allowed to face 17 in his poor ALCS showing. It's worth noting the Royals consciously placed Cueto at home, too, as opposed to using him in Game Three, where they could pinch-hit for him at will.

Game Two will air at 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX.

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Any merit to the thought that the Mets could shift Conforto to DH, Cespedes to LF, and start Lagares in CF? Lagares had a couple of very good at bats last night, to me any drop in offense replacing Johnson with him would be more than offset by the improved defense.
The most up-to-date lineup does indeed have Lagares in CF, Cespedes in LF, and Conforto at DH.