Is there anything more American than a matchup between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees on ESPN Sunday NIght Baseball on the Fourth of July? Well, maybe. Actually, yeah, probably, but this installment of the Subway Series ends on Sunday night with these interleague rivals in action.
This will actually end up being Game 2 of a day/night doubleheader. Friday’s game was rained out, so the Mets and Yankees will play Game 1 at 2:05 with a great pitching matchup between Gerrit Cole and Marcus Stroman. Then the national audience for Game 2 gets to see Corey Oswalt and Nestor Cortes Jr.
No line was posted overnight at any of the online sportsbooks for this one and the second game of a double dip is always a tricky one to handicap, but we’ll try to steer you in the right direction here.
New York Mets
The Mets rolled over the Yankees on Saturday and combined that with a Braves loss to add another game to their lead in the NL East. The Mets actually have four games in hand over Atlanta as well, so every day with a game added to the lead means that much more for later on in the season.
The Mets have gotten a lot healthier on the offensive side of late. While this still remains a below average offense by all of the stats and metrics, there was a time when Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jose Martinez, Kevin Pillar, JD Davis, and others were all on the IL together. Some of those guys, like Nimmo, Davis, and Martinez still are, but adding guys like McNeil and Conforto back to the lineup were huge.
The Mets enter play here with the 26th-ranked wOBA at just .297. They rank 22nd in fWAR. While the Mets have played fewer games than everybody else, they’ve still got enough of a sample size to tell us about this team and the returns are not confidence-inducing. The Mets lead the NL East with a record of 42-36, but are only +2 in run differential.
To give you an idea about Corey Oswalt, he made his pro ball debut in 2012 and still has not thrown 100 innings at the MLB level. This will be his 14th MLB start and 26th appearance. The right-hander has a 5.86 ERA and a 5.40 FIP in his 90.2 innings of work. The hope for the Mets here would be that Marcus Stroman goes deep into Game 1 and Oswalt can effectively be used as a multi-inning opener.
New York Yankees
The Yankees take a lot of money almost every day in the betting markets and just don’t reward bettors for their confidence. The Yankees have made a ton of hard contact this season, yet grade as one of the worst offensive teams in baseball. They are one of the worst with men in scoring position, as they simply have not cashed in on their opportunities.
In fact, the only team that has done worse scoring a runner from third with less than two outs is the Mets. The Bronx Bombers pay no attention to the details. They are a bad baserunning team. They have the highest stolen base percentage against. These are things that you can overcome if you are consistently hitting for power and doing well with RISP, but the Yankees have done neither.
The calls for manager Aaron Boone’s head on a silver platter have gotten louder and louder of late, as the team continues to play poor fundamental baseball and many feel like Boone has not shown enough emotion. Hank Steinbrenner said that no hasty changes were coming, but as the playoff hopes dwindle on a daily basis, he may change his mind.
We’ll see how long Nestor Cortes can go for the Yankees today. This will be Cortes’s first start of the season with seven relief appearances covering 17.2 innings on the year. He’s got a strong 1.02 ERA in that sample and has struck out 25 of the 70 batters faced. Like the Mets, the Yankees will hope that Gerrit Cole can go long in Game 1 and the Yankees will have most, if not all, of their relievers to deploy.
Mets vs. Yankees Free Pick
As mentioned, there was no overnight line for this game, so it is hard to make a pick. The Yankees will be a clear favorite here and we’ll likely see money come in on them, as bettors have done that a lot and Corey Oswalt likely grades for modelers as one of the worst pitchers in the league.
Personally, I’d look to the Yankees here, as Cortes grades much better than Oswalt, thus giving the Yankees a higher offensive projection. Pick: New York Yankees