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NEW YORK (SportsDirect, Inc.) — The New York Mets were touted as the pitching-rich club heading into the World Series, but it is the Kansas City staff that has the upper hand so far. The Royals will try to ride their pitching to a commanding 3-0 lead when they visit the Mets for Game 3 of the World Series on Friday.

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The New York bullpen could not protect a one-run lead in Game 1 and Jacob deGrom had the same problem in Game 2, breaking down in the fifth inning as Kansas City overcame a 1-0 deficit and went on to a 7-1 victory.

“Look, the Royals have a good team,” Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters. “We’ve got to make better pitches and we’ve got to play better.”

Kansas City outlasted New York in 14 innings in Game 1 as its bullpen put up six straight scoreless frames, and then gave that bullpen a night off thanks to Johnny Cueto’s complete-game two-hitter on Wednesday.

“We expected to be here,” Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters. “We expected to compete for a world championship against a tough team, and our confidence hasn’t changed from the first day of spring training to this point right now.”

TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, FOX

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PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Yordano Ventura (0-1, 5.09 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 2.77)

Ventura is making his fifth start of the postseason and is still looking for his first win. The Dominican Republic native – the third straight Dominican to start for Kansas City – has yet to complete six innings in those four turns but surrendered one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings against Toronto in the decisive Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Ventura is facing the Mets for the first time and is 3-3 with a 3.40 ERA in nine career interleague starts.

Syndergaard dominated the Chicago Cubs over 5 2/3 innings to win Game 2 of the NLCS, striking out nine while allowing one run and three hits. The rookie flamethrower recorded 20 strikeouts in 13 innings over the first two rounds of the playoffs. Syndergaard went 0-2 with a 5.86 ERA in his five interleague starts this season but was 7-2 with a 2.46 mark at home.


1. Mets 2B Daniel Murphy is 2-for-9 with four strikeouts and no home runs in the World Series.

2. Kansas City 1B Eric Hosmer is up to 15 RBIs in 13 games this postseason, including four in the World Series.

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3. New York OF Yoenis Cespedes is 6-for-32 with 10 strikeouts in the last eight postseason games.