Miami Marlins at New York Mets game preview

TV: FOX Sports Florida

Time: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.

The New York Mets' rotation proves itself an embarrassment of riches once you find Steven Matz at the tail end.

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The defending NL champions are expecting big things out of the young left-hander, who will continue trying to fulfill that promise when he takes the Citi Field mound in the opener of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins on Monday night.

During a 2015 season in which the Mets faithful fawned over the fearsome top three of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, along came Matz and his solid performances in midsummer and September.

The 24-year-old grew up a Mets fan in Stony Brook on Long Island and became an instant fan favorite in his major league debut June 28. Not only did he toss 7 2-3 innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts, but he also went 3 for 3 at the plate and drove in four runs in a 7-2 win over Cincinnati.

The Citi Field chants went from "Let's go Mets" to "Let's go Matz" as he became the first in team history at any position to drive in four runs in his debut.

Matz made one more strong start in July before tearing a lat muscle, but he was recalled for the stretch run and finished 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in six starts. His numbers took a dip over three postseason outings at 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA.

His pinpoint control resulted in 47 strikeouts against 14 walks over 50 1-3 innings in the regular season and playoffs, and he kept the ball in the yard with four home runs allowed - none over his final five starts.

He closed the spring with five hitless innings against the Chicago Cubs on April 2.

"This is definitely a good way to go into the season," Matz said after that outing. "My slider was working and it's definitely something I'm going to be using. I'm definitely getting to where I need to be."

His expected contributions gained extra emphasis Sunday when the club announced that deGrom would skip his scheduled start Wednesday with a sore muscle in his right side, though the Mets insist it's merely precautionary.

"In a perfect world with no injuries, we've got a nice-looking pitching staff," manager Terry Collins said.

The only one of Matz's regular-season starts New York (2-3) lost came against the Marlins (1-3) on Sept. 6. Matz went 5 1-3 innings and allowed two runs and four hits in his first outing since being recalled, but the bullpen blew a 3-2 lead in a 4-3 defeat.

The pitcher who opposed Matz in that game is the one he'll face Monday. Right-hander Jarred Cosart is looking to bounce back after making more headlines with his battle against vertigo than he did with his work on the hill during a rough 2015.

Cosart went 2-5 with a 4.52 ERA over 13 starts last year, but he's said he's overcome his issues, and a tweak to his delivery resulted in him allowing no runs over 9 2-3 innings in spring training, including 3 2-3 against the Mets on March 21.

"I'm excited with everything that's going on with the delivery and really trying to think out there," said Cosart, who tossed eight scoreless innings against New York on April 27, though closer Steve Cishek blew it in the ninth and Miami lost 3-1.

The Mets, who won 11 of 19 against the Marlins last season, dropped two of three to Philadelphia at home as Harvey fell to 0-2 with Sunday's 5-2 loss. Miami lost 4-2 in Washington to split a two-game set after Saturday's postponement due to cold weather.