This weekend both the Yankees and Mets look to continue their playoff pushes against teams that are looking ahead to 2016; the Yankees stay at home to face the Chicago White Sox while the Mets travel to Cincinnati to tackle the Reds.
On Friday the Yankees will see the White Sox' 22-year-old left-handed rookie Carlos Rodon again. Rodon has lowered his ERA from 5.00 to 3.78 in seven starts since Aug.11, but the Bombers faced him on July 31 and chased him after just three innings (his line was eight runs on eight hits and four walks). C.C. Sabathia will be on the mound for the Yankees, and he has been just fine in his last two starts, allowing only one run in 12.2 IP. However, Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have combined for 21 hits in 53 ABs against the veteran southpaw, so he could have his hands full.
The Yankees will face another lefty in John Danks on Saturday. Danks has had trouble keeping the ball in the park since Aug.18, allowing nine long balls in his last six starts (he is 1-4 in that span). Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez are just 4-for-28 combined against Danks, but despite being a left-handed batter, Jacoby Ellsbury is 8-for-19. Adam Warren goes for the Yankees again, and he has demonstrated why he wasn’t in the rotation when the season started. He’s gone just 7.1 innings in two starts, allowing 11 hits and five runs in those two games. Hopefully for New York, Masahiro Tanaka recovers from his strained hamstring sooner than later.
Sunday’s series finale will feature Jeff Samardzija for the White Sox and Luis Severino for the Yankees. Samardzija has struggled to get anything going this year but he is coming off an 88-pitch shutout of the Tigers on Monday afternoon. His last start against the Yankees was dreadful, as he allowed nine runs on eight hits and two walks in just 4.2 innings. Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Carlos Beltran have combined to go 12-for-35 all-time against the Notre Dame product. Meanwhile, Severino continues to pitch very well since being called up in August. This will be his first start against the White Sox. It will be interesting to see where the rookie fits in the Bombers’ postseason plans.
There will be rookie pitchers galore in the Mets/Reds series. On Friday, a pair of freshmen will do battle as the Reds’ Anthony DeSclafani faces the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard is coming off a rough start against the Yankees in which he allowed a three-run homer to Carlos Beltran in the first inning in a 5-0 loss. Syndergaard’s ERA in the first inning this year is 5.73 but his worst inning by ERA this year is the sixth (8.80). The Mets relievers, who have been shaky lately, will have to put their troubles behind them and make sure the game doesn’t get away if Syndergaard has to leave early. DeSclafani, acquired in a trade with the Marlins during the offseason, has been one of the Reds best pitchers this year despite having a losing record. The Mets faced DeScalfani twice when he was with Miami late last year, and the results were not good for the young hurler. As the Mets’ roster stands now, they have 29 total ABs against DeSclafani and they’re hitting .517.
The series continues on Saturday, and Matt Harvey is scheduled to start for the Mets. Since he is still under a much-ballyhooed innings limit it would be surprising to see him pitch more than five innings, so the bullpen could once again be burdened more than usual. The Reds’ star players have done well in the limited opportunities they’ve had vs. Harvey; Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco are a combined 7-for-20 with a home run. John Lamb answers for Cincinnati, and other than his two starts against the Cardinals where he shut them out in 11 total innings, he has had trouble preventing runs. His ERA against the four other teams he’s faced in his brief career is no lower than 5.00, so hopefully the Mets can put the game out of reach early.
The series concludes on Saturday as Jacob deGrom squares off with Keyvius Sampson. deGrom has had a great season but he has a 6.41 ERA in his last five starts. He’ll be pitching on 12 days’ rest, we’ll see if a little rest was the answer to deGrom’s problem. deGrom has never faced the Reds. Sampson has not had nearly as good a season as deGrom, allowing at least three runs in eight of his 11 starts, and he’s gotten through six innings only once. His K/BB ratio is a paltry 1.38. This is a pitcher a playoff-bound team should be able to tee off on.
Probables for White Sox/Yankees
Friday – Rodon (8-6, 3.78) vs. Sabathia (5-9, 4.80)
Saturday – Danks (7-13, 4.59) vs. Warren (6-7, 3.46)
Sunday – Samardzija (10-13, 5.04) vs. Severino (4-3, 3.10)
Probables for Mets/Reds
Friday – Syndergaard (8-7, 3.39) vs. DeSclafani (9-11, 3.79)
Saturday – Harvey (12-7, 2.80) vs. Lamb (1-3, 4.60)
Sunday – deGrom (13-8, 2.64) vs. Sampson (2-5, 6.45)