Regardless if you're a fan of either team, Tuesday night's matchup between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins at Citi Field is sure to have a little extra juice to it. In what could be the start of a big-time NL East pitching rivalry, Noah Syndergaard and Jose Fernandez will square off for the first time in their young careers.
Syndergaard is coming off a stellar rookie campaign that helped the Mets earn a trip to the World Series, and he figures to be one of the key cogs in New York's rotation for 2016 and beyond. Meanwhile, Fernandez, who won 2013 NL Rookie of the Year honors, is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.
"It's going to be exciting to see," Mets manager Terry Colins said, via NJ.com. "I say this all the time, when we have a matchup like that, if you're a baseball fan, you're going to enjoy [Tuesday] night. It's the classic of these two young bright stars that are on the scene, going to face each other. It's never fun when you've got to go face those guys, but it's a great challenge. And that's what these guys do, that's why we play this game is to go out and compete against the best. It'll be fun to see."
No matter which pitcher comes out on the winning end, the one certainty is that the two will be lighting up the radar gun. According to Fangraphs, Syndergaard's average fastball velocity in his young career is 96.5 mph — not to mention he threw a 95 mph slider in his 2016 debut — while Fernandez's average fastball is 95 mph.
And while Syndergaard looked like his usual self in his first start of the season (six shutout innings, nine strikeouts vs. the Royals), Fernandez will look to rebound coming off a rough outing in which he allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Detroit Tigers.