2021 MLB Opening Day
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

2021 MLB Opening Day: Scherzer vs. deGrom Preview

Five combined Cy Youngs. Ten combined All-Star appearances. Two bonafide aces. It’s a rare occurrence when two likely Hall of Famers match up against one another. Two of the greatest pitchers of this generation will go head-to-head Thursday night when Max Scherzer and the Nationals host Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets on 2021 MLB Opening Day.

Both are backed by star-studded lineups and this matchup will set the tone for what is poised to be a highly competitive year in the division. This matchup should be an instant classic.

Scherzer kicks off his seventh year in Washington and remains atop the league as one of the best pitchers in baseball. For the sixth time in seven seasons, Scherzer is taking the mound for the Nats on Opening Day.

deGrom is the best hurler in the game and has been a legitimate Cy Young contender over the last four years. deGrom will become the fourth pitcher in franchise history to start three consecutive Opening Days. Only Tom Seaver (1968-77) and Dwight Gooden (1988-91) posted longer streaks, and this would have marked four in a row for deGrom had a minor injury not prevented him from pitching the Mets’ opener in 2018.

Below is a look at how each pitcher has fared in face-off games.

Scherzer: 37 2/3 IP, (2-2), 3.58 ERA, 1.035 WHIP, 52 strikeouts, 10 walks, .668 OPS against

deGrom: 37 IP, (2-1), 3.16 ERA, 1.108 WHIP, 57 strikeouts, 10 walks, .707 OPS against

The Nationals and Mets are tied 3-3 in the games started by both aces. Combined, the two clubs average just 4.5 runs per game each in those contests with all but one of them being decided by two runs or fewer.

On Sept. 26, 2020, Scherzer outdueled deGrom and earned the win in a 4-3 victory for the Nationals in the most recent matchup. However, deGrom took the win for the Mets on Opening Day 2019.

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