The Mets enter Friday night’s Subway Series with an 8-game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East. The Amazin’s dropped two out of three at Citi Field to the Miami Marlins and saw their 8-game winning streak fall by the wayside on Tuesday night. New York’s magic number to clinch the division sits at just 9 and a series win over the Bronx Bombers would inch them even closer to their first division title since 2006.
Friday: Steven Matz (3-0. 1.88 ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.40 ERA)
The Mets send young star Steven Matz to the hill to get his first taste of Subway Series action. The left-hander earned a win in his last start against Atlanta, surrendering just one-run and six hits over five innings pitched. Dan Warthen and the coaching staff appear to be easing Matz back into a flow after he missed a few weeks with a partially torn lat muscle.
Tanaka on the other hand enjoyed one of his most impressive starts of the year in his last outing against Toronto. The Japan native pitched seven scoreless innings allowing just four hits and striking out seven.
The pendulum swings in favor of the Yankees as Tanaka brings big game experience, while Matz is still working his way back to 100 percent.
Saturday: Noah Syndergaard (8-6, 3.60 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.25 ERA)
Syndergaard is 6-2 over his last 8 starts and the 6-foot-6 power pitcher is really starting to find his groove in the big leagues. The 23-year-old hurler shook out of his recent slump by tossing seven frames giving up just one run on two hits.
Pineda is fresh off a rough outing against the Blue Jays when he allowed three home runs and four runs over 5 1/3 innings pitched. The Dominican Republic Native has been somewhat of a disappointment this season, but he was stellar in his last match-up with the Mets. Back on April 24, Pineda pitched 7 2/3 innings giving up five hits and just one-run to snap the Mets 11-game win streak. With the addition of Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe along with a healthy David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud, Pineda will be facing a much more powerful Mets lineup on Saturday.
The slight edge goes to Syndergaard due to his recent string of strong performances and his ability to overpower opponents with his power fastball.
Sunday; Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.88 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (4-9, 4.93 ERA)
Let’s face it this is not a prototypical ace versus ace pitching duel, as Harvey will have an innings limit hanging over his head and Sabathia is clearly on the downside of his career. The Mets skipped Harvey’s last schedule start, so he’ll have some much needed rest, which will make his agent Scott Boras happy. Sabatha had a solid showing on Monday against Tampa Bay throwing 6 2/3 innings, while allowing just three hits and six strikeouts.
Even though Harvey will likely exit before 100 pitches, the Amazin’s ace clearly has the upper-hand against Sabathia who has been struggling mightily in 2015.
More about this series:
The Yankees took two out of three during their first series with the Mets back and April, and now the Amazin’s are looking to exact revenge. The Mets are in the driver’s seat for a divisional crown, while the Bronx Bombers trail the Blue Jays by 3.5 in the AL East race, but have a 4-game cushion for the top AL Wildcard spot.