The Yankees are preparing to play what might be their most anticipated regular season series of the year, against the Mets in Queens. While Aubrey “Drake” Graham might disagree with this sentiment, the city of New York is in wholehearted agreement.
They will run into a Mets squad that’d won eight in a row before dropping their last two games to Miami, totaling just three runs across the pair of contests. After a wild offensive binge, they were held in check by he-of-4.22 ERA Adam Conley and he-of-Tom-Koehler Tom Koehler.
The Yankees will throw a bit more at the Amazin’s than Conley, Koehler, and Justin Nicolino.
C.C. Sabathia is fresh off his best outing of the season, tossing 111 pitches over 6.2 innings, and yielding just three hits, two walks, and striking out six.
There’s reason to believe that can continue.
Sabathia’s Adj Runs ranks fifth in the bigs at 17.48. This means for a myriad of reasons – catcher framing, temperature, quality of hitters to name a few – over 17 extra runs have been added to his ledger.
The biggest contributor to this number is ballpark factor. Sabathia has surrendered 9.51 additional runs due to the stadium he’s pitching in, which ranks ninth in the major leagues.
It’s no surprise to see a Yankees starter on this list given the nature of Yankee Stadium, which produces home runs like DJ Khaled produces hits (another one!).
That said, Sabathia clearly has been one of the pitchers hit the hardest at Yankee Stadium. His mark is right there with Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis, who DFS players know to automatically stack against every five days.
The other two Yankees pitchers with the highest such marks are the other two pitchers scheduled to start against the Mets – Michael Pineda (6.41), and Masahiro Tanaka (5.62).
To state what you probably already know, Citi Field is a lot more friendly to pitchers than Yankee Stadium. It’s just that these three pitchers have suffered the most from pitching with short fences, especially Sabathia. There’s reason to have confidence in the Yankees’ rotation.
While the pitching should hold up it’s also important to note the Yankees’ league-leading Guillen Number (% of runs via the home run) of 47.94. The Yankees will dodge the formidable Jacob deGrom (4.31 WARP), but still have to face Matt Harvey (3.26) and Noah Syndergaard (2.20)
When it comes to balls in play, the Mets and Yankees have had similar years. They rank 28th and 29th in Ground Ball % and BABIP, and 4th and 3rd in Fly Ball %, respectively. They only differ in line drives, where the Mets rank in the middle of the pack and the Yankees are in the bottom tier.
That would seem to back up the fact that the Mets will have the advantage at Citi Field. That, and three sellout crowds.
Cespedes vs. A-Rod. Conforto vs. Bird. Clippard vs. Betances. Familia vs. Miller. These two teams stack up quite well, and we should be in for a fun three-day ride.
(Photo: Kim Klement-USA Today Sports)