The New York Mets try to avoid a three-game losing streak when they take on the New York Yankees in the first of a three-game weekend series between crosstown rivals on Friday night. The series opener is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch at Yankee Stadium.
The Mets have dropped four of their last five, including two straight to close out a series with the Atlanta Braves. New York is 41-36 and in first place in the NL East, leading the second-place Washington Nationals by two and the third-place Braves by 3½ games.
The Yankees have lost five of their last six. New York is 41-39 and in fourth place in the AL East, trailing the third-place Toronto Blue Jays by a half-game and the second-place Tampa Bay Rays by 5½ games.
MLB odds have the Yankees as the favorites at -140, while the Mets are listed at +125. The over/under has been set at nine runs.
Needing Some Wins
Right-hander Taijuan Walker will be on the mound. Walker comes in with a 6-3 record and a 2.38 ERA, which ranks 10th in baseball, striking out 82 and walking 25 in 79⅓ innings.
Walker’s last start was on June 25 against the Phillies. He took a no-decision after going five innings and allowed one run on three hits, striking out five and walking one.
First baseman Dominic Smith was almost the hero for the Mets in Thursday’s loss to Atlanta, hitting two home runs, including a game-tying shot in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately, his heroics were for naught, as the Braves scored the winning run in the bottom of the frame. Smith has eight home runs and 31 RBIs, batting .249.
Pete Alonso was 0-for-4 in Thursday’s contest, though he leads the Mets with a .260 batting average. Alonso also sets the pace for the club with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs. The Mets are tied for 27th with 76 home runs, while the team’s total of 275 runs is the worst in the majors.
The Yankees were likely ready to get back on the field on Thursday after a rough loss on Wednesday to the Angels. New York led 8-4 heading to the ninth but gave up seven runs to fall 11-8.
“A terrible loss,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Wednesday’s setback. “Frustrating. Disappointing. Terrible.
“I feel terrible for (the fans). They deserve better than this, especially staying late; we’re past 1 in the morning, whatever we are, and hanging in there to want to see us finish that off. And obviously, we certainly share in their frustration.”
The Yankees will send left-hander Jordan Montgomery to the mound. Montgomery is 3-2 with a 4.06 ERA, striking out 80 and walking 23 in 82 innings over 15 starts.
Montgomery suffered his first loss since April in his last start. Facing the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, he went six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, striking out five and walking two.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu brings a 13-game hit streak into Friday’s contest. He’s batting .273, with 11 doubles, seven home runs, driving in 33 runs, and scoring 44 times.
Outfielder Aaron Judge, named an All-Star starter on Thursday, paces the Yankees with a .285 batting average, 18 home runs, and 42 RBIs. He has home runs in two of his last three games, getting a day off for Wednesday’s loss.
Yankees Earn Win
After a frustrating loss like Wednesday’s, the Yankees are dying to get back on the field and make up for it. The fact they get to try to take their frustrations out on the rival Mets is certainly another motivating factor.
Montgomery should have enough to get the Yankees off to a good start. When doing your MLB betting, take the Yankees to earn the win at home.