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Noah Syndergaard (Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports)

Noah Syndergaard (Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports)

When he takes the mound April 3 at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves, Noah Syndergaard will be the eighth different New York Mets opening day starting pitcher in as many years.

For manager Terry Collins, it was an easy decision, and one he wanted to get out of the way early. Collins awarded the start to Syndergaard after a stellar 2016 season. The right-hander went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA last season.

Syndergaard and Seth Lugo are the only starting pitchers on the roster who did not have arm surgery last year, adding to the easy decision for Collins.

“The other guys are all coming off an injury, except for Gsellman and Lugo and they pitched great,” Collins said. “I believe that opening day is something you earned from the year before. I don’t think it should be based on what you see in spring training. This guy, with what he did last year, deserved to be that guy.”

Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz are expected to join Syndergaard in the Mets starting rotation with Zach Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, and Lugo battling for the fifth and final spot. Assuming everyone bounces back from their respective surgeries, the Mets should once again have one of the most feared rotations in baseball.

The last starting pitcher to make consecutive opening day starts for New York was Johan Santana

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