When the Nationals travel to New York to face the Mets on March 31, Stephen Strasburg will square off with a bit of a surprise counterpart. The Mets have chosen right-hander Dillon Gee as their Opening Day starter, manager Terry Collins announced on Tuesday.
Gee, 27, beat out Zack Wheeler and Bartolo Colon for the nod and will become the 27th pitcher to start Opening Day for the Mets in their history. Jon Niese started last Opening Day, but will begin this season on the disabled list.
Gee has been very good this spring with just two earned runs allowed in 10 2/3 innings of work (1.69 ERA). He is also coming off the best season of his career when he went 12-11 with a 3.62 ERA in 199 innings pitched in 2013.
Gee was particularly good in the second half of last season. After the All-Star break he held a 2.74 ERA and 1.083 WHIP across 13 starts.
The Nationals will pitch Strasburg in the first game of the series, then send Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann out for Games 2 and 3. The Mets have not officially announced their rotation order yet, but it looks like Colon will follow Gee and Wheeler will pitch the third game.