The 29th interleague series clash between the Mets and Yankees, and first of two meetings this season, continues Saturday night with a matchup of young right-handers.
It's the 30th Mets-Yankees series if you count the 2000 Fall Classic. And just as they did that October, the Yankees have dominated in the regular season as well with a 49-35 record (26-16 at home) entering Friday's fracas. The Yankees were 145 favorites with Hiroki Kuroda on the hill, and the Mets were sending Johan Santana out for his first start since his no-hitter against St. Louis on June 1.
Game 2 on Saturday will commence at 7:15 p.m. (ET) with Phil Hughes taking the ball for Joe Girardi's Yanks against the Mets' Dillon Gee. Hughes and the Yankees opened as 150 favorites with the scoreboard hurdle at nine runs.
Both New Yorkers are currently third in their respective divisions, the Mets (32-26) 1.5-games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East while the Yankees (31-25) were just a half-game behind the Orioles and Rays who were deadlocked atop the AL East to begin the weekend. Despite near identical records, the Mets and Yankees are more than 13 units apart in the MLB betting standings (Mets +10.3 units, Yankees -3.0).
They are also running disparate totals marks on the season. Four of the Yankees' last five have gone 'under' and the Bronx Bombers are 32-23-1 to the low side on the year. The Mets check into the series 34-21-3 'over,' with the high-side winning out at a 6-3-1 clip their last 10.
Gee has taken no-decisions his last two trips to the mound, both ending in defeat for the Mets, though he pitched well enough (13-2/3 IP, 4 ER). The side from Queens is 5-6 in his 11 assignments, and Saturday will mark Gee's second career start vs. the pinstripers. He lost by a 5-2 score last June at Citi Field after allowing four runs in seven innings.
Hughes is coming off a complete-game 4-hitter at Detroit after taking a licking in Anaheim courtesy of the Halos the start before that. There are signs that Hughes is getting into a groove with all four of his quality starts on the campaign coming in his last six assignments. He didn't see the Mets last season, and split his two starts against them in 2010.
The two subway rivals will meet again in about two weeks at Citi Field (June 22-24).
A's & Snakes Kill Off Saturday Slate
All things considered, you'd think it's a trade the Arizona Diamondbacks would like back. Arizona and the Oakland Athletics got together in a winter swap with the two main pieces of that trade facing off Saturday in Phoenix.
The visitors will send Jarrod Parker to the mound for the 10:10 p.m. (ET) first pitch which will be delivered by Trevor Cahill. Parker was the young talent the Diamondbacks had to part with to land Cahill, who is having a good enough season and coming off a complete game shutout in his last assignment. But Parker's rapid ascent into what has been a fine Oakland rotation looks like it will be one that leaves Arizona wondering why they made the deal.
The Snakes opened at -140 for the contest and the 9-run total leans 'under.'
One reason Arizona could afford to part with a youngster like Parker is Trevor Bauer, who appears on the fast track into the majors himself. Bauer, the third overall pick out of UCLA in June 2011, should make his major league debut at some point this season, and with the Diamondbacks struggling at 27-30 to begin the weekend, that debut could come sooner rather than later.
Parker's last start was most impressive as he limited the potent Texas Rangers to just one hit and no runs over eight innings of a 12-1 spanking. He also held the Twins scoreless for six innings the previous outing, only to get a no-decision in a contest Oakland ultimately lost, 3-2, on a walk-off homer by Minnesota's Josh Willingham.
Cahill's last outing was equally impressive with the Cali native hurling his second career shutout in a six-zip win at San Diego after growing up in nearby Oceanside. This will be his first interleague start in a D-Backs jersey, and he's still looking for his first win in front of the Arizona fans. The Diamondbacks have lost all four of his assignments in Phoenix where Cahill's ERA is 5.16 compared to about half that on the road (2.64).
Oakland entered the series with a 13-11 all-time mark vs. Arizona, and had won seven of the 15 played at Chase Field heading into Friday's opener. The Diamondbacks were $1.45 favorites for that game which featured Daniel Hudson for the Snakes opposite Tommy Milone of the A's.