After concluding a brisk two-game series at the Rogers Centre, the Yankees have an off day on Thursday, then head down the street to open up a series against the Mets in the first Subway Series of 2018.
After a lackluster 9-9 start to the season, the Yankees have posted a 30-9 record since then, and trail just one game behind the Red Sox for first place in the AL East, which could change come Friday.
The Mets, on the other hand, are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, having dropped their most recent game to the Orioles, the worst team in baseball. The offense is struggling mightily, having scored seven runs in the last 59 innings.
Game 1 probables: Masahiro Tanaka vs Jacob deGrom
The Yankees will immediately face the NL leader in ERA, deGrom (1.49), to start the series. He pitched once at Yankee Stadium last season and went 7.1 innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits in a 13-6 loss. Gary Sanchez and Jacoby Ellsbury both homered in that ball game.
He will duel Tanaka (7-2, 4.79 ERA), who has shown spurts of greatness this season, but not much lately. Although he has won his last three starts (4.96 ERA in that stretch), Masa has pitched past the sixth inning in just two starts this year; even then, he did not make it to the seventh inning.
The Yanks need to count on him for more quality and length as the season progresses, and this would be the game to start with.
Game 2 probables: Domingo German vs Steven Matz
In lieu of Jordan Montgomery needing Tommy John Surgery, German (0-4, 5.44 ERA) will serve as more than just a placeholder in the rotation, at least until the trade deadline. He showed massive potential in his Major League debut, throwing six no-hit innings against the Indians.
Lately, he has been mediocre aside from consecutive outings with six earned runs. If he can work out some control issues this next start, it should yield some success against the Mets.
On the other hand, Matz has been dominant recently with a 1.13 ERA in his last three starts. Although, he did face the Yankees once last year and got tagged for six runs in 3.1 innings of work.
Game 3 probables: Luis Severino vs Noah Syndergaard
This will undoubtedly be the best and most important game of the series. Two flamethrowers who have experienced much success this season will battle it out in Queens.
With the state of the Mets offense right now, don’t expect anything less then another gem from Severino. He is having a monster year, sporting a 9-1 record with a miniscule 2.20 ERA.
Sevy faced the Mets once last season and went 6.1 innings, giving up zero earned runs on four hits with nine strikeouts. He will look to continue his dominance on Sunday.
Syndergaard will most likely be activated on Sunday to face the Yankees after spending a short time on the DL with a strained ligament in his finger. He hasn’t pitched in about two weeks, but still has a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts this year.
Thor faced the Yankees once in 2015, so most if not all of the lineup has not seen him pitch yet.
The Yankees’ rotation needs to take advantage of a subpar Mets offense to get back on track and gain some confidence with a relatively tough stretch coming up in the next month. However, the offense will be tested as the Mets are sending their best three pitchers to the mound in this series.