How the Yankees and Mets compare heading into the Subway Series

For Deesha Thosar
FOX Sports MLB Writer

NEW YORK — The last time Yankees i Foods faced off, less than a month ago at Citi Field, a Subway World Series seemed likely, perhaps even inevitable.

The Yankees entered Queens with the best winning percentage (.680) in baseball. The Mets rose to the occasion and extended their division lead by sweeping the Yankees in the two-game set behind Max Scherzer’s seven scoreless innings in the finale.

Since then, the Yankees’ clubhouse disco ball has been gathering dust. Someone should also check the smoke machine in the locker rooms and the strobe lights, because neither of them have been in regular use for weeks.

While the Yankees enter Monday having gone 5-15 in their last 20 games, spiraling into an incredible freefall while still managing to hold onto the lead in the AL East, the Mets in that same stretch have gone 14 -6. Since the Mets swept the Yankees in Flushing, the Yankees have the second-worst record in the American League. The Mets in that span have been consistent, winning five of their last six series and looking more and more like a team that can neutralize the mighty Dodgers.

Mark Canha hits two home runs in the Mets’ comeback win

Mark Canha hits two home runs in the Mets' comeback win

Mark Canha hit two home runs and drove in five runs in the Mets’ 10-9 comeback win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Make no mistake: the narratives surrounding these cross-town rivals as they enter their second and final metro series of 2022 couldn’t be more opposite. The Yankees are regularly booed by their frustrated and impatient fan base. The Mets, despite an onslaught of injuries, are taking care of business behind two of the best pitchers in the game.

But this subway series, which takes place Monday and Tuesday in the Bronx, could provide the push the Yankees need right now. exhausted people Playoff atmosphere. New York bragging rights. Race of pennants.

With so much on the line, let’s take a look at how the Yankees and Mets compare heading into the interleague matchup.

ROTATION

This one is a no-brainer. The Mets have a top of the rotation that performs like the best in baseball. The trio of Jacob deGrom, Scherzer and Chriss Bassitt has posted a 1.77 ERA (15 earned runs, 76.1 innings pitched) in 12 starts in August. By comparison, new Yankees righty Frankie Montas has allowed 14 earned runs in three starts since being acquired from Oakland.

Gerrit Cole struggled again Saturday against the Blue Jays, allowing four runs in the fifth inning, diminishing the positive progress he had made in recent outings. The Yankees ace has a 3.41 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 26 starts in what appears to be a spotty season. On the plus side, Nestor Cortés has a 2.74 ERA in his All-Star season.

What makes the Mets title contenders?

What makes the Mets title contenders?

Ben Verlander breaks down three reasons why he believes the Mets are a World Series-caliber team, led by Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Edwin Diaz.

In the big picture, the Mets were without Scherzer and deGrom for a significant portion of the season while the Yankees’ pitchers were rolling. This has resulted in a marginal difference overall between the two starting teams; the Mets have a 3.89 ERA, eighth in baseball among starters, while the Yankees are right behind them with a 3.91 ERA, which ranks 10th.

The result is that the Mets’ rotation has been more consistently dominant, so the Amazin’s get the upper hand here.

Advantage: Mets

OFFENSE

The Yankees offense has been invisible for several weeks. Since the All-Star break, Yankees hitters have a 101 wRC+, ranking 17th in the majors.

By far, August has been his worst month offensively. The Yankees have been shut out five times and have scored just 17 runs in their last eight games, including the eight they scored against the Rays in a wild comeback win on Wednesday. Even slugger Aaron Judge hasn’t hit a home run in nine straight games, his longest hitting streak of the season.

Much of that offensive regression has to do with the absences of Giancarlo Stanton (Achilles tendinitis) and Matt Carpenter (fractured foot). Stanton began a rehab assignment this weekend and should be back in the lineup in less than a week, while Carpenter has yet to begin baseball activities.

But all teams deal with injuries to key players in a long season, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the absences in the lineup are no excuse for the team’s lackluster play .

“We should be scoring right now,” Boone said Friday after the Yankees were out again. “We’re a very good team, and it’s been long enough now that it’s been a long period of struggle. We have to do better.”

What about the Yankees?

What about the Yankees?

Ben Verlander discusses the latest hot topics in MLB, including the Yankees’ continued struggles in the month of August and what manager Aaron Boone had to say after another shutout.

What do the Mets do? They grind at bats, irritate the opposing starter in the process, and ultimately get on base in any way possible. Manager Eric Chavez’s relentless approach to at-bats has helped the Mets lead the majors in first-inning pitches. They also lead the majors in on-base percentage (.341) and are in the top five in most offensive categories except for slugging.

In addition to Pete Alonso, who has hit 30 home runs, the Amazins are not collapsing. They own the second-lowest strikeout rate in baseball and make plenty of ground ball contact, which accounts for their MLB-leading 115 infield hits. As manager Buck Showalter calls his offense, the Mets have a “selfless lineup” that is at its best when hitters are disciplined at the plate and put balls in play. This somewhat old-fashioned approach has worked well all season.

It would be very surprising if the Yankees stay this lifeless at the plate for much longer. When the Bronx Bombers are clicking on all cylinders, as they were early in the season, they have more power than the Mets and are one of the best hitting teams in baseball.

But the Mets improved at the trade deadline by adding slugger Daniel Vogelbach and shortstops Darin Ruf and Tyler Naquin to become a more complete club, and right now they have the edge over the sleepy Yankees lineup. .

Advantage: Mets

BULLPEN

The Yankees’ bullpen has been weakened by injuries to Clay Holmes, who is dealing with back spasms, and Michael King, who underwent elbow surgery in late July. In addition to the Yankees’ offensive woes, their bullpen is the other worrisome area of ​​concern, largely because of those injuries, but also because former closer Aroldis Chapman has been inconsistent.

There is still time for newcomers Lou Trivino and Scott Effross to earn regular, high-level roles in the bullpen. But the strength of the Yankees bullpen as currently constructed is questionable for the postseason.

Still, the Yankees have the edge over the Mets in that department. That may be hard to believe, considering Edwin Diaz’s dirty season (1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP), but everyone not named Diaz has been unpredictable for the Mets’ relief corps.

Edwin Diaz, Mariano Rivera among the best closers

Edwin Diaz, Mariano Rivera among the best closers

Ben Verlander names his top five innings all-time, with Mariano Rivera’s “Enter Sandman” and Edwin Diaz’s “Narco.”

Seth Lugo has had his moments this year, but hasn’t been consistently effective since 2019. Adam Ottavino and his 2.25 ERA in 49 games have been big for the Amazins, but he’s more efficient in less leveraged spots than in higher places. Right-handed reliever Mychal Givens, acquired from the Cubs at the trade deadline, has allowed nine earned runs in 7.2 underwhelming innings since joining the Mets.

Combine that instability with Mets general manager Billy Eppler’s failure to improve the bullpen before the trade deadline, and the bridge from deGrom to Diaz is shaky at best. During the season, the Yankees’ bullpen unit has been superior. Yankees relievers own the fourth-best bullpen ERA in MLB, while Mets relievers rank ninth.

Advantage: Yankees

Deesha Thosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets for three and a half seasons as a reporter for the New York Daily News. The daughter of Indian immigrants, Deesha grew up on Long Island and now lives in Queens. You never miss a Rafael Nadal match, regardless of the country or time zone he’s playing in. Follow her on Twitter at @Deesha Thosar.


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