NEW YORK METS (53-62)
at NEW YORK YANKEES (61-55)
First pitch: Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Mets +145, Yankees -155, Total: 9.0
The Yankees will be trying to turn things around in the first game of this Subway Series against the Mets on Monday.
The Mets have had an awful season and are now in a situation where they arenít playing for a spot in the postseason late in the year. That is quite the change after this team found itself in the World Series in 2015. A lot of that team is still together right now, and that was supposed to be just the beginning of their open championship window. Well things havenít worked out for the Mets, and they now find themselves hoping to play the role of spoiler in this series. If they canít make the playoffs then they will do everything in their power to help make sure the Yankees donít. A win in this series would certainly harm the Bronx Bombersí chances, as they are falling far too behind in the AL East race and are also giving up their lead in the wild card race. Expect the Yanks to play with a sense of urgency in this series. The starters in the opening game of this set are going to be RHP Rafael Montero (1-8, 6.06 ERA, 68 K) for the Mets and RHP Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.83 ERA, 25 K) for the Yankees. Both guys were not supposed to be counted upon in the rotation too much this season, so it wouldnít be surprising if this is a high-scoring affair. One trend that stands out when looking at this game is the fact that the Yankees are 13-2 against the money line after six straight games versus division rivals this season. That could have them a bit more confident coming into this one.
The Mets are going to be doing everything they can to take this series against the Yankees, but theyíll need Montero to pitch a solid game in this one. The righty has been really lousy lately, as he has been pulled before the sixth inning in each of his past three starts. Montero allowed four or more earned runs in each of those games, and he has also allowed seven homers over his past four starts. That is not a good sign heading into this series, as the Yankees can obviously hit for power. Montero must keep the ball down here. As for the offense, the Mets will be counting on OF Yoenis Cespedes (.275 BA, 14 HR, 36 RBI) here. Itís been a miserable season for Cespedes, as he has had trouble hitting and has also had trouble staying healthy. He is, however, in the lineup now. And as long as that is the case, the Mets will be counting on him to produce. He has homered in two straight games, so perhaps he is starting to get it going now. Itís a little too late, but the Mets would still like to finish off the year strong.
The Yankees are desperate for a victory on Monday, and theyíre sending Luis Cessa to the hill for this one. Cessa was very good in his last outing, as he pitched 3.1 innings of shutout ball against the Rays. He has, however, only pitched five full innings in one game this season. If he canít get to that point in this one then the team will be in a bit of trouble. The Yankees have been burned by their bullpen lately, and they need to make sure they get more innings out of their starters. On offense, itís going to be hard for the Yankees to start winning again if OF Aaron Judge (.289 BA, 35 HR, 78 RBI) doesnít turn things around. Judge now finds himself hitting less than .290, which is insane considering how hot he was to start the year. It seemed very likely that heíd finish the year above .320, but he now is in danger of not even hitting .280. The Yankees need him to find a way to get it going here.