It’s been a bad week for the Yankees, but hopefully the tonic will be their crosstown rival Mets, who have fallen from one-time division leaders to just a 4.9-percent chance of making the playoffs per FanGraphs. The shadow of 9/11’s 20th anniversary will loom large over the Subway Series in Queens this weekend, but the Yankees still have games to win.
Friday - Jordan Montgomery vs. Tylor Megill (7:10pm Eastern)
Monty’s been about as reliable an arm as the Yankees have had all year, logging a 3.47 ERA and 3.57 FIP in 25 starts. His last three starts have been even better, as he’s shut down Baltimore, Oakland, and Atlanta to the tune of a 1.15 ERA in 15.2 innings. With uncertainty around Gerrit Cole’s health, Jameson Taillon going to the IL, and Corey Kluber’s stamina, Gumby’s going to have to step it up this time through the rotation, but he’s been able to do just that more than once this year.
Megill has been a solid righty for the Mets in his rookie season. His 4.20 ERA is slightly above league average, and he gives up a few too many home runs, but strong walk rates can often limit the damage on the long ball. Don’t expect a wide-eyed rookie either — he’s made starts against high-level opponents like the Giants, Dodgers, Atlanta, and Toronto already this year.
Saturday - Corey Kluber vs. Taijuan Walker (7:40pm Eastern)
Klubot’s struggled somewhat in his return from the 60-day IL. He’s thrown 7.2 innings in two starts back, often starting the game strong — he struck out the 2-3-4 hitters in the first inning against Baltimore, and worked a couple solid opening frames in Anaheim — before really hitting a wall by the third and fourth innings. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone, but the Yankees are in a dangerous spot needing to win games while simultaneously building up their presumptive No. 2’s workload.
Walker, meanwhile, looked to be one of the very best free agent signings of the winter in the first half, notching a 2.26 ERA and striking out a quarter of the men he faced. However, the wheels have come off since the All Star break, posting a 7.36 ERA and .883 OPS against. He’s been little better than disastrous, and the perfect candidate for the Yankee offense to wake up a bit.
Sunday - TBA vs. Carlos Carrasco (8:08pm Eastern)
The Yankees haven’t officially named a starter for Sunday Night Baseball, though Deivi García seems like a potential option, having been bumped up from Triple-A to the taxi squad on Thursday. Deivi’s had a miserable season for both the Yankees and Scranton, as a tweak in his delivery left him with no control and no deception on his curveball. He’s walked 16.3-percent of batters faced at Triple-A, and his future as an MLB regular has been cast into doubt.
Michael King is due to be activated today from the IL, and could also make the star as well. He’s been given the ball to start seven games in both MLB and Triple-A this year, and while his walk rate is also a concern, it’s literally half of García’s. Clarke Schmidt is also “on our radar” according to skipper Aaron Boone. Someone has to start!
Carlos Carrasco has also been dreadful, battling injuries and posting a 5.88 ERA in 33.2 innings for the Mets. His home run rate is probably unsustainable — almost 19 percent of his fly balls leave the yard — but he’s been a homer prone pitcher before, and as the saying goes, the market can remain irrational longer than you can stay solvent. We might see a whole bunch of runs between these two starters in primetime on Sunday night.