The pennant-contending Mets and Yankees go into Labor Day weekend looking to pick up wins over divisional opponents that are both realistically eliminated from the postseason.
Luis Severino gets things started for the Yankees on Friday night; the young phenom turned in his best start to date when he cruised through six scoreless innings in Atlanta last weekend. Severino seeks his third straight win after getting two losses and a no-decision in his first three major league starts. Jake Odorizzi counters for the Rays. The Bombers have been relatively successful against Odorizzi; Brian McCann has 10 hits in 16 at-bats against him (two home runs).
The battle of the Nathans takes place on Saturday afternoon; Karns for the Rays and Eovaldi for the Yankees. Karns turned in a dandy against the Yankees in St. Pete last time, going seven innings while allowing just two runs and striking out 10. Eovaldi got touched up a bit in Atlanta last time out but it wasn’t nearly enough for the Braves to make it close; the Yankees won that game, 20-6. Eovaldi has yet to lose a start since he was chased in the first inning in Miami on June 16.
The Bombers will then try to figure out Chris Archer in the series finale. While Jacoby Ellsbury is 12-for-18 lifetime against Archer; Carlos Beltran, Stephen Drew, McCann and Alex Rodriguez are a combined 5-for-46 against the young Rays ace. Ivan Nova takes the mound for the Yankees and he has lost three straight starts while his ERA has ballooned from 3.57 to 4.50 in that span.
Jacob deGrom takes the hill for the Mets on Friday against the Marlins, who are just trying to avoid finishing in the NL East cellar this season. deGrom bounced back from a rough outing against the Phillies with a solid six innings against the Red Sox that saw him strikeout 10 batters. Tom Koehler starts for the Fish, and he has really struggled as his team continues to sink. He has lost seven starts in a row and his ERA has skyrocketed from 3.16 to 4.12 in that span.
Plans are still in flux but it looks like Bartolo Colon will get the start on Saturday on regular rest. Colon pitched eight innings of shutout baseball in a win against the Phillies on Monday, upping his record to 11-1 against NL East opponents this season. Southpaw Brad Hand counters for the Marlins, and despite a career ERA of 4.46 and WHIP of 1.37 the Mets have struggled to hit him in the past; David Wright and Daniel Murphy are a combined 2-for-22 historically against Hand.
Sunday will likely see the return of Steven Matz. He was splendid in his three rehab starts and assuming all goes well in his bullpen session on Friday he should be ready to pitch on Sunday. This would mean that Noah Syndergaard’s turn in the rotation would be skipped in order to conserve his arm. Matz’ first two starts against the Dodgers and Reds, respectively, were tremendous. Chris Narveson is tentatively scheduled to start for Miami. He is a reclamation project, coming off an injury that saw him miss all of 2014. Aside from a couple of cameo appearances, Narveson hasn’t pitched at the major league level since 2011.
Probables for Rays/Yankees
Friday – Odorizzi (6-7, 3.18) vs. Severino (2-2, 2.17)
Saturday – Karns (7-5, 3.69) vs. Eovaldi (14-2, 4.17)
Sunday – Archer (12-10, 2.78) vs. Nova (5-7, 4.50)
Probables for Mets/Marlins
Friday – deGrom (12-7, 2.32) vs. Koehler (8-13, 4.12)
Saturday – Colon (12-11, 4.42) vs. Hand (4-4, 4.54)
Sunday – Matz (2-0, 1.32) vs. Narveson (2-1, 5.23)