NY Yankees (80-65) at NY Mets (83-63)
When: Friday, September 18th, 2015
Where: Citi Field, Flushing, NY
Time: 7:10 ET
TV: MLB Network Radio: XM 89
It’s not often that the Mets have a better record than the Yankees, but this year the Mets are 20 games over .500 and are very close to wrapping up the National League East. They have an 8 game lead with less than 3 weeks to go. The Mets are still hot despite losing their last 2 games in Miami. Prior to that they had won 8 in a row and 19 of 24. Since they acquired Yoenis Cespedes in July, the Mets have been pounding the ball. Offense has been holding back for the last few years, but not anymore. They have a great young pitching staff and aspirations of making it to the World Series this year and beyond. Young Steven Matz makes his 5th start of the year and he’s been brilliant. The Mets are being careful with him and all of their pitchers so he’s not pitching real deep into games. He’s 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 24 innings. He also has 22 strikeouts. This will be his first home start since he made his debut on June 28th.
While the Mets can just cruise to the finish line, the Yankees have work to do. They trail the Blue Jays by 3.5 games in the American League East, but hold comfortable 5.5 game lead in the Wild Card standings. They would really love to avoid the 1-game playoff, but they’ll need help from the Blue Jays to do that. After this weekend, they will play in Toronto for three games. They will most likely need to sweep that series to have any shot at the division. The Yankees turn to Masahiro Tanaka tonight and he’s been great in his last 2 starts. He shutout Toronto for 7 innings last week and held Baltimore to 1 run in 8 innings the outing before. He’s 12-6 overall with a 3.40 ERA. He threw a complete game shutout against the Mets last May in his only meeting against them.
This is a huge series for the Yankees this weekend and I think they take game 1 tonight. Tanaka has been terrific and I think the Yanks can get to the young left-hander Matz.
Pick: Yankees -105