Due to inclement weather on Monday, there will actually be a day/night doubleheader between the New York Mets (32-33) and the New York Yankees (40-24) on Tuesday. For this article, I will be focusing on the evening game, not the makeup game. Coming into this series, the Mets currently sit in third place in the NL East, five games back of the Philadelphia Phillies (four games back of the Braves for second).
For the Yankees, despite a plethora of early-season injuries that have decimated their roster, they sit just ½ game behind the Tampa Bay Rays. For the evening game Tuesday, the pitching matchup features Jason Vargas (2-3, 3.57 ERA) going for the Mets while James Paxton (3-2, 3.11 ERA) will take the bump for the Yankees. Game time from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.
The moneyline for this one features the New York Mets at +165 and the New York Yankees at -175. The over/under for total runs scored is set at 9.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the New York Yankees currently sit fourth in the Major Leagues at 5.30 runs per game (4.64 at home). This is pretty remarkable given the injuries to players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Miguel Andujar. For the Mets, they come in at 19th overall at 4.60 runs per game (4.20 on the road).
On the pitching side, the Yankees once again come out ahead. They rank sixth in team earned run average with a staff ERA of 3.91 (3.13 at home). For the Mets, they rank 17th with a 4.47 ERA (4.83 on the road).
In terms of run differential, the Yanks rank fifth overall with a run differential of +69 while the Mets rank 20th at -13.
Mets Trying To Stay Close
Despite being under .500, the window is wide open in the NL East with neither the Phillies nor Braves running away with the division. Trying to get the win in the nightcap will be Jason Vargas. The veteran southpaw is 2-3 in nine starts with a 3.57 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and opponents are hitting .247 against him. In 45.1 innings, he has allowed 42 hits, 18 earned runs, five home runs and has struck out 37 versus 19 walks. Despite a rough start to the season, he has pitched better of late. In his last outing, a 7-0 win over the Giants, he threw a complete game, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out eight.
On the offensive side, Todd Frazier has really been swinging a hot bat of late. In the last 30 days, he is hitting .337/.427/.566 with four home runs, 13 runs batted in and 16 runs scored. Overall, though, Peter Alonso has still been the best power hitter with the team lead in home runs (21), runs batted in (46) and runs scored (37) while hitting .258/.337/.597.
Strong Despite Injuries
With the injuries that the Yankees have endured this season, no one would have blamed them had they rolled over and gone away. Instead, the Bronx Bombers find themselves just a half-game back in the AL East and are starting to get healthy again. Part of the reason they have had so much success offensively still is due to players like DJ LeMahieu (.321/.367/.468 with seven home runs, 41 runs batted in and 41 runs), Clint Frazier (.283/.337/.536 with 11 home runs, 32 runs batted in and 24 runs scored) and Gary Sanchez (.260/.333/.624) with 19 home runs, 37 runs batted in and 28 runs scored). If Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can get healthy and be added to a lineup that also includes Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit, this will be a scary lineup.
The one weak spot for the Yankees has been the starting rotation, an area that they will likely look to upgrade around the trade deadline. Taking the bump for the Yankees Tuesday night will be lefty James Paxton. On the season, Paxton is 3-2 in nine starts with a 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .213 against him. In 46.1 innings, he has allowed 36 hits, 16 earned runs, four home runs and has struck out 63 while walking 18. For Paxton, it’s not about ability, it’s about staying on the field healthy, something that he has struggled with over his career.
Yankees Take Second Game
For full disclosure, I actually anticipate the Yankees taking both games of the doubleheader on Tuesday, but I really like their chances in the night game. While Jason Vargas has thrown better as of late, I still like the chances of the Yankees’ hitters against him. Look out for Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, and Brett Gardner, who are all hitting .308 or higher in their careers against Vargas and have each homered. Regardless, I think Paxton will throw well or at least well enough to get to the Yankees’ vaunted bullpen. For my money, I am taking the Yankees at -170.