If Giancarlo Stanton is on the verge of breaking out at the plate, his track record suggests that the odds of him doing so this weekend should be quite high.
Although Stanton is about to receive his first taste of the Subway Series in a Yankee uniform, the 28-year-old slugger is no stranger to the Mets. And it’s possible that a handful of Stanton’s most recent at-bats in Queens are still fresh in the minds of fans inhabiting Citi Field.
Before Stanton waived his no-trade clause to approve a blockbuster deal to the Yankees this past winter, he spent eight seasons with the Miami Marlins, and during that time, he played in 108 games against the division rival Mets. Of all the teams that Stanton has faced, he’s feasted on Mets pitching the most, with a total of 35 home runs, 14 doubles, 65 runs, and 81 RBI in 392 at-bats (approximately half a season’s worth). And of those 35 home runs, 21 have been hit at Citi Field — the most homers Stanton has in any opposing ballpark.
It’s also worth noting that the bulk of Stanton’s success this year has come on the road. In 111 away at-bats, he’s slashing .297/.373/.595 with eight homers and 17 RBI. Crunch the numbers, and they’ll show that Stanton is hitting a measly .207 (116 at-bats) at Yankee Stadium, since his overall average is .251.
This week, Stanton has added to his road dominance in style. On Monday night against the Tigers at Comerica Park, Stanton crushed a ball 456 feet to the left field seats, and on Wednesday night against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, he ripped a homer that left his bat with an exit velocity of 119.3 mph. According to Statcast, that deep shot was the second-hardest hit ball of 2018.
“I think that’s maybe the hardest ball I’ve ever seen hit,” Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone told the YES Network on Wednesday. “It was killed. That took me back a little bit, that one.”
Although the Yankees (40-18) have been rolling and the Mets (27-32) have been reeling, the Yankees will still have to face a trio of strong starters. But Stanton has good history against two of them.
Friday’s opener will feature Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom, and in 22 at-bats against the right-hander, Stanton has nine hits, four of which are homers. Two of those blasts off deGrom came on July 6, 2016, and one of them traveled a whopping 470 feet — the longest homer in Citi Field history. In the series’ middle game on Saturday, Stanton will see left-hander Steven Matz, and he has a pair of homers against him, too. The only pitcher Stanton hasn’t fared well against is righty Noah Syndergaard (0-for-11) who will take the mound on Sunday.
Nevertheless, the Yankees’ meeting with the Mets may be coming at a convenient time, since Stanton has done considerable damage on the other side of town.