Mets, Yankees look to catch up in standings with tough weekend matchups
Divisional tilts are in store for both New York baseball clubs this weekend as the Mets take on the Marlins while the Yankees square off with the Orioles.
Friday’s Mets-Marlins opener will feature Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 1.87 ERA) making his first start since May 28 after being ejected in the third inning for throwing behind Chase Utley. “Thor” threw a scoreless inning of relief against the White Sox on Tuesday night to stay sharp. Syndergaard allowed seven hits but struck out 12 in seven frames against the Marlins earlier this year.
Countering for Miami is Tom Koehler (3-5, 4.50 ERA), who’s been dancing with danger in his last four starts, allowing five walks per appearance but no more than three runs each time. The Mets are only 14th in walks drawn this season but have been patient against Koehler in the past (40 walks drawn in 80.1 IP dating back to 2013), which has led to success (Koehler is 2-4 with a 4.03 ERA in his last 13 starts vs. New York). Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto both have an OPS over 1.000 against Koehler.
Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.39 ERA) gets the ball for Saturday afternoon’s tilt in Miami, and he’ll be hoping Giancarlo Stanton stays out of the lineup as the slugger continues to nurse a sore side (Stanton is 5-for-11 with two homers against Colon). It will be interesting to see if Ichiro Suzuki gets an at-bat against Colon, as the veterans have locked horns an eye-popping 106 times (Suzuki has a .274 average against Colon).
Opposing Colon is Justin Nicolino (2-3, 4.50 ERA), who’s 0-3 over his last five starts. His WHIP is an ugly 1.42 over that span. Nicolino got a no-decision against the Mets last September, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. One of those hits was a Cespedes home run.
Matt Harvey (4-7, 5.37 ERA) will look to build on his stellar last outing against the White Sox (seven innings, two hits, no runs) in Sunday’s series finale. Marlins hitters have combined to bat a meager .180 against “The Dark Knight” all-time.
Jose Fernandez (8-2, 2.53 ERA) responds for Miami and he’s won seven straight games on the mound, posting a 1.38 ERA in May. David Wright should probably stay out of the lineup on Sunday regardless of his health, as he’s 0-for-10 against the Marlins’ ace.
Yankees face the O's
Nathan Eovaldi (6-2, 3.71 ERA) starts the first of three games in Camden Yards for the Yankees on Friday night, and he’ll be looking to improve on his career numbers against Baltimore (16.1 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.65 WHIP). He’s done well against the dangerous Chris Davis though (one hit in nine ABs, six K’s).
The resurgent Chris Tillman (7-1, 2.92 ERA) counters for the Orioles, and he hasn’t lost a start since April 13. Didi Gregorious, who swung a hot bat in May (.287 average), is 5-for-10 against Tillman as a Yankee.
Ivan Nova (3-3, 3.98 ERA) will try to buck the trend against the O’s; Davis, Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters are a combined 30-for-80 with nine homers against Nova. However, Nova has a good K/BB ratio this season (4.50), which should aid him against an Orioles offense that ranks in the bottom half in both strikeouts and walks.
Tyler Wilson (2-4, 3.83 ERA) starts for Baltimore, and he’ll try to stifle Jacoby Ellsbury this time around after allowing him two hits and a walk in his first start against the Bombers this year.
C.C. Sabathia (3-4, 2.85 ERA) gets the call in the series finale, and he’ll be hoping for a bit more run support after having two straight gems against the Blue Jays turned into losses (13.0 IP, four runs, seven hits combined, and the Yankees managed just one run per game).
Kevin Gausman (0-3, 3.78 ERA) answers for Baltimore and the longball has bit him lately, as he’s allowed six fourbaggers in his last two starts combined. The ice-cold Brett Gardner could turn his luck around, as he’s batted .308 (.846 OPS) in 19 ABs against Gausman in the past.