This weekend the Yankees visit the Twins while the Mets host the NL West-leading Dodgers. This will be the last weekend of games before the trade deadline, and both teams could stand to make a move to fortify their roster before the end of the month.
This will be the first meeting between the Yankees and Twins this season. The Yankees have done well historically against the Twins; though they split the season series at three games apiece last year, you have to go all the way back to 2001 to find the last year that Minnesota won the season series over the Bombers.
Michael Pineda will take the mound on Friday as the Yankees square off against their former starter Phil Hughes. After pitching lights-out for the Twins last season Hughes has come back down to Earth a little bit; he currently has a 4.15 ERA, which is over half a point higher than his ERA from last season. Pineda started off July allowing just one earned run in 13.2 innings but his last start vs. Seattle was a shaky one, as he allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.
Saturday’s matchup will feature two lefties; CC Sabathia and Tommy Milone. Sabathia allowed just one earned run in six innings as he out-dueled Felix Hernandez in a win over the Mariners last Sunday. His ERA continues to steadily decline, but it is still a garish 5.25. Milone was booted from the Twins’ rotation and demoted back in April due to poor performance, but since returning to the majors in June Milone has pitched fairly well, going 3-1 and lowering his ERA from 4.76 to 3.38. He’ll be trying to rebound from a dreadful start against the A’s in which he couldn’t even complete three innings.
Sunday’s tilt will feature perhaps two of the luckiest pitchers in baseball; Nathan Eovaldi and Kyle Gibson. Despite making it through six innings only twice in his last six starts Eovaldi has gone 4-0 in that span, with the Bombers winning five of those six contests. Kyle Gibson has won four straight starts and has lowered his ERA to an unbelievable 2.85, far below his career ERA of 4.24. However, his FIP is 4.00, suggesting that regression is in order for him.
The Dodgers pull in to Queens for a four-game series with the Mets beginning on Thursday. The Dodgers appear to have the upper hand on Thursday as Clayton Kershaw takes on Bartolo Colon. In 17 total ABs, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, and Juan Lagares have combined for zero hits against the All-Star southpaw. Meanwhile, Colon got shelled in his first start after the All-Star break in St. Louis. He now has the 5th worst ERA amongst qualifying starters in the NL.
Then the Dodgers send out a formidable force in Zach Greinke on Friday to pitch against Jon Niese. Greinke hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 43.2 innings pitched and his ERA has dropped to a miniscule 1.30 on the year. Niese, who has been linked to the Dodgers in various trade rumors, has a strong history against LA; Niese has allowed Dodger hitters to bat just .205 against him in 117 total ABs.
On Saturday the Mets will send out Matt Harvey to face Brandon Beachy. Harvey has been uncharacteristically wild in his last three starts, allowing at least four walks in each. In each of those games however he was afforded extra rest, something that he has been on record as saying he is not a fan of. Beachy is trying to find his way back from Tommy John surgery that knocked him out for all of 2014. His first two starts back have been rocky to say the least; Beachy’s given up seven runs and six walks in just eight innings of work.
Sunday is the series finale and Brett Anderson is slated to start for LA while Jacob deGrom has the ball for the Mets. Anderson left the game against the Braves on Tuesday with “irritation in his left Achilles tendon" and is listed as day-to-day. The Dodgers can hardly afford to lose another starter, if they do it might open the door to trade talks with the Mets. deGrom of course has been excellent all season. After striking out the side in his one-inning appearance at the All-Star game, deGrom struck out eight Nationals in a win on Tuesday night. He currently has the third-best ERA among qualified NL starters.
Probables for Yankees/Twins
Friday – Pineda (9-6, 3.77) vs. Hughes (8-6, 4.15)
Saturday – Sabathia (4-8, 5.25) vs. Milone (5-2, 3.38)
Sunday – Eovaldi (9-2, 4.50) vs. Gibson (8-6, 2.85)
Probables for Dodgers/Mets
Thursday – Kershaw (7-6, 2.86) vs. Colon (9-8, 4.86)
Friday – Greinke (9-2, 1.30) vs. Niese (5-8, 3.36)
Saturday – Beachy (0-1, 7.88) vs. Harvey (8-7, 3.19)
Sunday – Anderson (5-5, 3.17) vs. deGrom (9-6, 2.14)