The Yankees are traveling a lot less than they did to London by heading across town to meet with the New York Mets. The Yankees are back in the states after an offensive showdown with the Red Sox where they scored 29 runs in two games. The Mets beat the Braves on Sunday night in a game that they basically needed to win after losing seven in a row. The teams split their first series 1-1 in June.
Who to Watch For:
Yankees: D.J. LeMahieu
D.J. LeMahieu is slashing his best career line so far this season at .345/.392/.534. What stands out is his .534 slugging percentage which shows his increase in power this season along with his high average. He is only three homers shy of tying his career high, and it isn’t even the all-star break yet.
Mets: Jeff McNeil
Jeff McNeil is having a great year so far as he currently has the highest batting average in the MLB at .348. His slash line currently sits at .348/.412/.509. The 27-year-old has been one of the few things going right for a struggling Mets team this season.
Game 1: Tuesday, July 2 | 7:05 PM EST
Probable Pitchers: James Paxton (5-3, 4.34 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (6-5 4.51 ERA)
James Paxton struggled in June, posting an ERA of 7.15 in 22 and 2/3 innings pitched. One of those starts came against the Mets where he only lasted 2 and 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits. He’ll look to bounce back Tuesday night against the crosstown opponent.
Zack Wheeler, like Paxton, faced the Yankees about three weeks ago. He struggled in his start, going 4 2/3 innings allowing five earned runs on 10 hits. The 29-year-old has turned things around since, posting a 2.84 ERA through three starts. Wheeler is going to want to keep this momentum going Tuesday against the Yankees’ stacked lineup.
Prediction: If the Yankees knock Wheeler out early and get the bullpen going, it could turn into chaos. If that holds true, the Yankees could win the game 12-4.
Game 2: Wednesday, July 3 | 7:05 PM EST
Probable Pitchers: TBD vs Jason Vargas (3-3, 3.66 ERA)
The Yankees are still deciding who will pitch Wednesday as they had to use the bullpen quite a bit in the London Series where 50 runs were scored between them and the Red Sox over two games.
Jason Vargas is facing the Yankees for a second time this season. He had a great start considering how good the Yankees can hit as went six innings giving up three earned runs. However, the Bronx Bombers did not have Aaron Judge or Edwin Encarnacion in the lineup at the time. This could affect the 36-year-old southpaw on Wednesday. Current Yankees have a career line of .278/.368/.461.
Prediction: With the improved Yankees lineup, it will be even more difficult for Vargas to perform well. The Yankees could sweep the two-game set with a 9-3 win.
Notable Injuries (Brace Yourself)
New York Yankees:
- Miguel Andujar is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
- Giancarlo Stanton is already back on the IL with a knee injuring, this time until at least August.
- Greg Bird can recover from his foot injury by July 20.
- Jordan Montgomery can be pitching again by August 15 if his shoulder recovers.
- Domingo German can be back for Wednesday’s game of this series if he is healthy.
- Cameron Maybin was sidelined with a calf injury and can return in August.
- Dellin Betances has a lateral injury keeping him out until likely August.
- Gary Sanchez should be good to go against the Mets even though his thumb is bothering him
- Luke Voit injured his abdomen in London and should be ready for Tuesday’s game against the Mets.
New York Mets:
- Yoenis Cespedes is out for the season after fracturing his ankle at his ranch, providing another “only the Mets” moment.
- Brandon Nimmo should be back in August after a neck injury.
- Justin Wilson is needed in a struggling Mets bullpen, and can return in a few weeks.
- Jed Lowrie can be back in action by July 12 if his hamstring allows him to.
- Jeurys Familia should be ready to go but just has to be cautious of a shoulder injury.
Feature Image Courtesy of Getty Images.