The Subway Series begins tonight for the weekend at Citi Field between the Yankees and Mets. Surely this is one of the most important series that the Yankees and Mets have played against one another. The Yankees still trail the Blue Jays in the AL East by 3.5 games. The Yanks squandered a glorious opportunity to reel the Jays in last week, but they ended up losing two of three against Toronto. The Blue Jays control their own destiny at this point, it’s the Yanks job to pull them back in before the regular season expires. They’re going to have to do it the hard way after failing to gain ground after they were home at Yankee Stadium. Losing against them was a double whammy, as now a win from the Yankees needs to be accompanied by losses from the Jays. Regardless if the Yankees catch up, they’ll at least nab a wildcard berth. The Yankees were able to avoid a sweep to the Jays this past Sunday. Masahiro Tanaka came to the rescue of the Yankees in almost a must win situation for them if they want to catch the Jays.
The Yankees get Tanaka starting again tonight against the Mets. It’s another game where Tanaka needs to be dominant. I suspect the Yankee rotation isn’t enough to get them through a postseason, but Tanaka is one of the strong members of the club. If only the guy could stay healthy for an entire season. He has a world of talent, but he’s pretty useless if he’s not on the mound. For the price he is being paid, the Yankees can’t afford to have him sitting out. When he is healthy, Tanaka can be tough to solve for opposing hitters. Steven Matz will get his fifth ever start at the major league level tonight in what is an important series. We’ll see how he responds in his first ever Subway Series matchup.
N.Y. Yankees vs. N.Y. Mets
Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.40 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (3-0, 1.88 ERA)
This Matz has gotten comfortable real quick with the Mets. Despite the Mets being under the microscope and in pressure situations, this young pitcher has risen up to the occasion. He hasn’t had a bad start yet, and this definitely isn’t the time to do that. This is the biggest game of his career, as there is going to be more than a few eyeballs watching this game. The nerves haven’t gotten to him yet, not allowing more than 2 runs in any of his four starts. The most hits he has allowed in a game is 6. Per game he has allowed just 4.25 hits, which signifies how well he has been pitching since coming over from the minors. After three straight starts on the road, Matz is back in New York tonight to try and stifle the Yankees.
Tanaka is going to look to build off two solid starts in a row. He has allowed only 1 run in the two starts combined. His past three outings has yielded a 2.11 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. When Tanaka finds a groove he is very difficult to slow down. When he is out of it he’s very hittable. Slowing down the Blue Jays’ offense for zero runs is no joke, it is very impressive. He faces another offense that has been on fire since the trade deadline. I see Matz and Tanaka getting into a pitching duel in this one, which lends itself to a play on the UNDER 7.
PICK: UNDER 7 RUNS (-110)