Game time: 7:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Citi Field, Flushing, NY
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Yankees -120, Mets +100
Season record (entering Friday)
Yankees: 78-62 (3rd place, AL East)
Mets: 70-71 (3rd place, NL East)
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Yankees - Mets preview and analysis
Yankees: Lost 6 straight
Mets: 6-4 in last 10
Welcome to the latest edition of the Subway Series featuring two New York teams that have defied all logic in the last few days, for better or worse.
The New York Yankees and New York Mets enter this weekend’s three-game series at Citi Field with the same collective goal in mind: don’t screw it up.
A series loss for the Mets will likely take them out of the race for the National League East, ending all hopes for a postseason run. If the Yankees lose this series after getting blasted in four games by the Toronto Blue Jays, it may be DEFCON 1 in the Bronx.
The Yankees, by way of their six-game losing streak entering Friday for the first game of the series, not only has fallen well out of favor for the American League East crown but no longer holds home-field advantage in the AL Wild Card race. The Boston Red Sox have jumped their arch-rivals and the one-game playoff would be at Fenway Park if the playoffs started today.
And speaking of the Blue Jays, that sweep has put them a half-game behind the Yankees heading into Friday. So if the Yankees continue to slip up, the Blue Jays could pass them by this weekend seeing how Toronto is in Baltimore.
To top it off, Gerrit Cole is dealing with hamstring issues and could be out for a little bit. That tests New York’s pitching depth, and that starts with Corey Kluber getting the start for Game 2 of this three-game Subway Series on Saturday. The former Cy Young winner is 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA this season.
The Mets have found new life with a solid start to September and a well-run close to August. But also thanks to the San Diego Padres’ roller coaster of a season, the Mets have found life in the NL Wild Card race, trailing both the National League East race and the wild card race by five games. The Mets have also benefitted during the Atlanta Braves’ slide following their nine-game winning streak.
Taijuan Walker will take the mound for the Mets, who enter Friday losers of three of four after winning seven of their previous eight. The right-handed pitcher is 7-9 with a 4.15 ERA this season.
I have no idea what to make of what the Yankees are dealing with right now, whether it’s something that can be corrected or it’s something worse. It wasn’t long ago they were the hottest team in baseball, and that’s why they should be considered the chance to win. I’ll go against the grain and take the Mets in a close one. Walker has lost his last six decisions with the last win coming July 3 against these same Yankees. The Mets have turned it around a bit offensively and may have found a formula that works. The Subway Series always turns out a good crowd, and this one should be no different. Mets win 6-4.
The Yankees are 28-30 when a favorite of -125 to -175.
The Mets are 22-29 (-8.8 net games on the moneyline) when it’s between +125 and -125
Yankees: SP Gerrit Cole (hamstring, day-to-day), SP Jameson Taillon (10-day IL)
Players to watch
Yankees: The Joey Gallo Experience has been that. The trade deadline acquisition from the Texas Rangers is batting just .091 in his last 20 games entering Friday with two home runs and having struck out 33 times.
Mets: Star slugger Pete Alonso enters Friday with a nine-game hitting streak and hits in 10 of his last 11. In September, Alonso is batting .389 with three homers and eight RBI, as the Mets have gone 5-4 during the streak.
Brett Gardner (L) CF
Aaron Judge (R) LF
Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
Gleyber Torres (R) SS
Joey Gallo (L) 3B
Gary Sanchez (R) C
Tyler Wade (L) 2B
Corey Kluber (R) P
Jonathan Villar (S) 3B
Francisco Lindor (S) SS
Michael Conforto (L) RF
Pete Alonso (R) 1B
Javier Baez (R) 2B
Jeff McNeil (L) LF
Kevin Pillar (R) CF
James McCann (R) C
Taijuan Walker (R) P
Batting average: Aaron Judge (.294)
Hits: DJ LeMahieu (142)
Home runs: Aaron Judge (30)
RBI: Aaron Judge (75)
Stolen bases: Gleyber Torres (12)
Wins: Gerrit Cole (14)
Saves: Aroldis Chapman (25)
ERA: Gerrit Cole (2.78)
Batting average: Pete Alonso (.269)
Hits: Pete Alonso (130)
Home runs: Pete Alonso (32)
RBI: Pete Alonso (84)
Stolen bases: Jonathan Villar (12)
Wins: Marcus Stroman (9)
Saves: Edwin Diaz (28)
ERA: Marcus Stroman (2.87)
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