Yankees eager to keep winning ways alive in Subway Series against Mets

A moment from 2019 Yankees vs. Mets Subway Series.

Table of Contents

The second half of the Subway Series begins on Tuesday evening at Yankee Stadium. While the Mets may not be considered as weak as the Royals or the A’s, the Yankees are hoping to build on their three-game sweep from the previous weekend.

The Yankees, playing at home, hold a six-game lead over .500 and are aiming to remain competitive in the American League wild-card battle. On the other hand, the Mets are seeking to make progress towards reaching a .500 record as the two teams meet for the first game of a two-game series on Tuesday night.

In the previous encounter between the teams on June 13-14, they each secured a one-run victory. During that period, the Yankees were coping with Aaron Judge’s absence due to a toe ligament tear, and the Mets were beginning their decline below a .500 record.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged on Sunday afternoon that the team had been facing challenges and experiencing struggles. He mentioned that they had managed to come home, regroup, and secure a series sweep against Kansas City. Despite this positive outcome, Boone acknowledged that there is still a long journey ahead, but he remains optimistic about the team’s potential to become a strong and competitive unit.

The Mets’ recent performance against the Red Sox resulted in two losses out of three games, ensuring that the Yankees would not be alone at the bottom of the AL East. The Mets have been dealing with injuries, and their overall form hasn’t been impressive. They seem to be on the verge of making significant changes ahead of the trade deadline, and despite any hope the NL wild-card race might offer, the reality is that they are facing numerous challenges and are far from being strong contenders at the moment.

The New York Yankees will start this series with a team batting average of .231, dropping into the 29th overall, while the visiting New York Mets’ .237 AVG is ranked 22nd. Despite this fact, the Yankees players seem to be finding the hitting rhythm they needed to support the solid pitching that is ranked 8th overall thanks to a 3.87 ERA, which will eventually lead to an increase in the winning possibilities. Compared to the Yankees’ ERA as MLB’s 9th the Mets’ 4.41 ERA ranks as 19th overall.

Opportunity knocks for the Yankees against the Mets

Since June 14 when Nick Ramirez gave up the game-winning double to Brandon Nimmo in the 10th inning, the Yankees have struggled, going 14-17. They faced a tough stretch, losing nine of 11 games, but managed to turn things around and finish the weekend with a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals, securing an 8-5 victory on Sunday.

Yankees Anthony Rizzo celebrates after a home run vs. the Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 23, 2023.

Anthony Rizzo broke his home run drought with his first homer since May 20, and he had an impressive 4-for-4 performance at the plate. He contributed an RBI double and two singles, bouncing back from a slump that lasted for most of the past two months.

Giancarlo Stanton acknowledged the Yankees’ impressive offensive performance in the series, highlighting the many great at-bats and tough outs. He emphasized the importance of continuing the momentum moving forward.

The Yankees will aim to continue their winning streak against a Mets team that is expected to be a seller at the upcoming trade deadline. Despite having the highest payroll in baseball history, the Mets are certain to finish below .500 by the conclusion of the August 1 deadline.

Since Nimmo’s game-ending hit, the Mets have also recorded a 14-17 record. They struggled in June with a 7-19 record and have won only four out of their last 11 games since the beginning of this month, which started with a six-game winning streak.

The Mets concluded their three-game series with a 6-1 loss on Sunday night, falling in the final two games against Boston.

Mets outfielder Mark Canha expressed the importance of the Yankees series, stating that it’s a significant one for New York, and they are eager to win. He emphasized the desire to come out victorious in the series and viewed it as a potential turning point for the team.

Yankees vs. Mets Game 1: Justin Verlander vs Domingo German

Following the Mets’ pitching struggles that led to 15 hits on Sunday, Justin Verlander (4-5, 3.47 ERA) is set to make his second appearance in the “Subway Series.” Verlander previously had a no-decision on June 14, where he gave up one run on three hits and threw 107 pitches over six innings.

In his recent performances, Verlander has given up three runs or less in six of his last seven starts and is coming off one of his strongest outings this season. During the team’s 5-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox at home on Wednesday, Verlander surrendered just one run on three hits and pitched eight innings, marking the second time he has achieved this feat.

In his 24 career starts against the Yankees, Verlander holds a record of 9 wins and 7 losses with an earned run average (ERA) of 3.37.

Domingo German gets Yankees belt after he pitched a perfect game against the A's on June 28, 2023, at Oakland.
NYY/ Twitter

Taking the mound for the Yankees will be Domingo German (5-6, 4.52), who has a 4.41 ERA in three starts following his perfect game on June 28 in Oakland, where he secured a no-decision.

A week ago, German’s last outing was against the Los Angeles Angels in a 5-1 loss, during which he pitched six innings and gave up five runs.

In his previous five starts against the Mets, German has a record of 2-1 with an ERA of 3.71.

Domingo German’s basic statistics:

2023 Regular Season564.521818097.21011.08
Career Regular Season31274.40110880511.15301.18
Source: MLB

Domingo German will start this series opener at home facing one of the expected aces of the New York Mets, 2022 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. After German’s perfect game on June 28th, the Dominican pitcher as cumulated a record of 0-1 over three games 4.41 ERA, 16.1 IP, 14 SO, 10 R, 8 ER, 23 SO, .230 AVG and 1.22 WHIP. Since German was able to held to just 2 runs the Baltimore Orioles (current leading team in AL East) is supported by the offense of his teammates the win can be achieved.

Regarding German’s performance against the Mets’ batters, his numbers display successful outing against this team’s lineup:

 Germán, Domingo797017314151922.978.90.2430.4860.3480.2480.4160.32890.219
 Lindor, Francisco15122000426.723.33200.1670.1670.2560.2820.3860.3785.816
 Canha, Mark14137101214.317.617.10.5380.8460.5880.3710.6690.45394.314.9
 Pham, Tommy1010000044027.8000000.0870.1050.08390.3-4.2
 Nimmo, Brandon1182010218.228.619.
 Stewart, DJ650000233.346.2116.7000.1150.0750.1980.20890.626.7
 McNeil, Jeff7710010014.3000.1430.5710.2770.2820.60.3686.626.1
 Alonso, Pete882101112.510000.250.750.4110.1750.3050.20286.132.4
 Vogelbach, Daniel5420010011.11200.51.250.7290.3550.7780.522995.8
 Baty, Brett2200000020000000.450.6270.461100.218.5
 Narváez, Omar11110000000121.2610.560.770.56894.817
Source: Baseballsavant

The 0.248 expected batting average is a good sign in German’s favor for this start, but the 19% for strikeouts and 22.9% of swing and miss strikeout rate represents the difficulties to retire Mets’ batters at the plate in this upcoming game for the Yankees starting pitcher. Mark Canha and Daniel Vogelbach have the statistical potential of hitting successfully against Domingo German.

Justin Verlander’s basic statistics:

2023 Regular Season453.471414083.0701.16
Career Regular Season2481383.2549649603246.032681.12
Source: MLB

This season didn’t start the way many people expected for Verlander because of the record he has so far, but the truth is that besides the injury that kept him away for some time this season as in the case of some Yankee pitchers, he has not received enough support in some of the starts he’s had good outings.

The Three times AL Cy Young award winner Verlander is still an elite pitcher no suitable to be underestimated as this table display how effective he’s expected to be against the New York Yankees lineup in comparison with German expected performance: the expected .288 OBA (Verlander’s) and the .314 xwOBA (German’s). The Batting Average is also leaning in Verlander’s favor, but the expected .359 SLG (Verlander’s) vs German’s .406 xSLG favors the Mets players. The Yankees batters can take advantage of the 42% hard hits they can have against Verlander and capitalize on making solid contact against the 4-Seam Fastball he normally throws 49.2% of the times he pitches.

Here are the numbers of the active New York Yankees players that had the opportunity to face Justin Verlander at home plate before this game:

 Verlander, Justin118111234063126.328.554.20.2070.4050.2820.2250.4190.29990.616.8
 Torres, Gleyber2424410062525000.1670.2080.160.1450.2120.15283.723.9
 LeMahieu, DJ2625810227.76.513.80.320.60.3910.390.6970.46690.72.1
 Stanton, Giancarlo212031021047.65414.
 Bauers, Jake11102000327.32519.
 Kiner-Falefa, Isiah14133001535.731.8000.2310.4620.3220.2120.3250.26891.115.6
 Rizzo, Anthony850000112.528.6225000.2620.0270.0390.27985.134.3
 McKinney, Billy5511002407.7000.
 Higashioka, Kyle330000133.350000000.0120.0190.0158854
 Volpe, Anthony2200000057.1000000.2030.4140.25494.825
 Bader, Harrison22100115020000.521.0360.3581.3630.712103.129
 Allen, Greg2210000020000.50.50.435
Source: Baseballsavant

Yankees vs. Mets Game 2: Carlos Rodon vs. Jose Quintana

Carlos Rodon’s statistics:

2023 Regular Season037.3633014.2111.43
Career Regular Season56493.661551500862.09581.24

Carlos Rodon is having a second chance to start at Yankee Stadium as he will pursue his first win of the season after a disappointing last start at Angels Stadium. The Angels lineup took care of business early in the game forcing Carlos Rodon to leave the game in the fourth, representing his shortest and yet worst start of the season after allowing 6 earned runs.

His record over the three games he’s started this 2023 season is 0-3 with 7.36 ERA (career high of the cumulated first three games in any of the seasons he’s played in the Majors, besides the 2020 season), allowing 12 H, 12 ER, 4 HR, 11 SO, .214 AVG, 1.43 WHIP within 14.2 IP.

Rodon’s performance against the Mets’ batters, his numbers display a successful outing against this team’s lineup:

 Rodón, Carlos615315304111821.369.80.2830.5660.3830.2820.540.37987.99.4
 Lindor, Francisco373410302410.818.325.40.2940.5590.3750.3020.5110.36786.77.2
 Pham, Tommy64100035025233.
 Canha, Mark109200222016.7000.2220.8890.4050.3351.0270.51490.317.9
 Vogelbach, Daniel3200000020133.3000.230.2790.3150.40481.941.5
 Nimmo, Brandon321000133.333.3133.
 Alonso, Pete22100015066.7000.50.50.4420.3860.5110.392100.614
Source: Baseballsavant

Considering those numbers, Carlos Rodon will have to bring an effective strategy that can help him to hold the Mets batters hitting ground balls, foul outs, or any other way to put out the players because of their low 18% strikeout rate and huge .566 SLG and .540 expected SLG.

Jose Quintana’s basics statistics:

2023 Regular Season013.601105.031.20
Career Regular Season89883.7531629001728.215351.28

In his first start of the season couldn’t get the win, but recorded a decent  3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, allowing 6 H, 2 ER, 3 SO.

As his Statcasts numbers show, Quintana’s pitching approach is to mix his pitching arsenal which could be very effective against the Yankee players. Here are the numbers of the active New York Yankees players that had the opportunity to face Jose Quintana at home plate before this game.

 Quintana, José494411400816.316.336.10.250.3410.2920.290.4080.33987.36.9
 Rizzo, Anthony13123200215.425000.250.4170.3170.2770.3820.34780.632.5
 LeMahieu, DJ10910000001100.1110.1110.1580.2790.4090.334900.4
 Kiner-Falefa, Isiah981100222.28.3111.10.1250.250.2170.2140.2640.26188.1-6.7
 Bader, Harrison761000228.627.3114.30.1670.1670.2240.1160.1370.19789.21.3
 Torres, Gleyber3321000025000.66710.7150.6811.2550.82298.512.7
 Cole, Gerrit22100015025000.50.50.4380.340.410.33102.17
 Allen, Greg21100000000110.8840.6430.7290.59865.2-3.5
 Stanton, Giancarlo22000015033.3000000.2750.3280.2683.621
 Bauers, Jake11100000000110.8790.5310.6180.50891.46

Yankees vs. Mets first basemen matchup: Anthony Rizzo vs Pete Alonso

12 PeteAlonso 1BNYM913355471922663368130.212.310.484.794
16 AnthonyRizzo 1BNYY9234444871401241348703.253.338.398.736

Source: https://www.mlb.com/stats/?position=1B

This is a clash of well-known first basemen, whose talents to have more production on the home plate have been slowed down by slumping periods during this 2023 season.

It’s obvious that the advantage the Mets will secure in their favor if Pete Alonso makes good contact on any of the Yankee pitchers’ deliveries. The slugging ability that has always characterized Alonso cannot be underestimated because his 26 homers has placed him 5th overall, despite the lack of hitting he’s had.

On the Yankees side, thanks to that 4-hit game Rizzo had in that Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the hope of still counting with the same first baseman that constantly was getting involved in runs production earlier this season and last year is still alive. After a Homerun drought of 2 months, Anthony Rizzo finally aligns his performance with the needs of a Yankees Organization that counts on him to be as good as he’s been over the course of his career. If Rizzo is able to keep a similar or at least decent display of batting, the Yanks will surely have better chances of success in this series as he’s part of the cleanup hitters in the lineup.

Yankees vs. Mets second basemen matchup: Gleyber Torres vs Jeff McNeil

9 GleyberTorres 2BNYY9937157981321643385985.264.330.439.769
18 JeffMcNeil 2BNYM983554188151330284750.248.322.321.643

Here is clear that Gleyber Torres has played superior baseball and represents a key factor for the Yankees’ aspirations to continue improving and winning games this season. Torres is on fire keeping alive a 13-game hitting streak, hitting 3 of the 4 homeruns he’s blasted in this month over the past 5 days. In addition, his 14 H, 7 R, and 7 RBI along with a .378 AVG and 1.051 OPS, places him as the offensive leader of the New York Yankees since the beginning of the second half.

Yankees vs. Mets shortstop matchup: Anthony Volpe vs Francisco Lindor

Batting AvgSluggingQuality of Contact + K + BB
Rk.PlayerTeamPAPosBIPBA    xBA    DiffSLGxSLGDiffwOBAxwOBADiff
26 Lindor, Francisco425SS281.226.243-0.017.447.466-0.019.327.347-0.020
32 Volpe, Anthony371SS228.209.230-0.021.376.397-

The Center Field

Again another disadvantage for the New York Yankees is this player vs player perspective based on offensive statistics. There is no doubt about Bader’s fielding skills and the reliable impact he has on outfield defense being one of the top players in that category. Kiner-Falefa also plays solid defense, but a common weakness for both is the hitting. During this second-half, Bader has 5 H, 3R, 2 RBI, and 0.200 AVG with .450 OPS; while Kiner-Falefa has just 2 H, 1 R, 1 RBI, .167 AVG, and .542 OPS.

When comparing them to Brandon Nimmo’s stats, he doubles their numbers: 8H, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR, 0.229 AVG, and .775 OPS. IF considering his fielding abilities as well, with Judge still in rehab, seems like there is no Yankee player that can win this matchup in center field.

The Left field

Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Oswaldo Cabrera vs Mark Canha or Jeff MacNeil

After the Mets’ main leftfielder, Tommy Pham was forced to exit the game vs the White Sox with an injury on July 20. Having lost such an important piece of their lineup, the Mets will probably choose to place Mark Canha on this side of the field or locate the utility Jeff McNeil on those premises. Either choice by the Mets’ fielding represents an advantage in terms of hitting ability over the Yankees designated left fielders to be used in the series.

DH: Giancarlo Stanton vs Daniel Vogelbach

Giancarlo Stanton is finally starting to play to meet the Yankees’ expectations. Performing productively in every series since the second half, Stanton looks more reliable deliver a decent amount of run production as in the last 10 games he’s played cumulated 5 R, 8 H, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, .222 AVG, .883 OPS. Comparing these two players in the category they are known the most for being Power hitters, Stanton’s 13 Homeruns places him ahead of Vogelbach’s 6 homeruns. In addition to that obvious Homerun gap, Vogelbach only has 3H, .214 AVG and .696 OPS.

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