The first Subway Series of the year is finally here! Even though it’s only two games, with both teams leading their respective divisions I expect the play and atmosphere to be electric.
Jordan Montgomery toes the slab looking to build off one of his best starts in weeks — 6.1 innings of seven-hit, two-run, eight-strikeout ball against the Astros. The changeup and curveball continue to be weapons for the southpaw, allowing him to place in the top quartile in walk, chase, and whiff rates. It’s also encouraging to see the sinker round into form as the season’s gone on. He’s throwing it the hardest of his career (93 mph) and with the third-most horizontal movement relative to average in baseball. In 19 starts, Montgomery is 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA (117 ERA+), 3.80 FIP, and 88 strikeouts in 108.1 innings.
Taijuan Walker gets his third taste of Subway Series baseball after getting hammered to the tune of seven runs on eight hits including four home runs in his two starts against the Yankees last year. That being said, it appears Walker has completely eliminated the issues with the long ball this year, allowing the joint-fewest home runs per nine of any starter with at least 90 IP alongside Cy Young frontrunner Sandy Alcantara. That is particularly important against a Yankees squad that scores the highest percentage of runs via the home run of any team in baseball. In 16 starts, Walker is 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA (155 ERA+), 2.97 FIP, and 73 strikeouts in 91.2 innings.
Aaron Judge has been on an absolute tear since the All-Star break ended, going 7-for-15 with three home runs, nine RBI, and a 374 wRC+. His performance in those four games along have vaulted him back to the top of the fWAR leaderboard (5.4) while his MLB home run lead just keeps getting wider (37, seven more than Kyle Schwarber). Unfortunately, they will be without Giancarlo Stanton for two to three weeks, with the team placing the slugger on the 10-day IL (retroactive to 7/24) with left Achilles tendonitis.
The Mets roll out a staunch lineup from top to bottom that features above-average hitters by wRC+ at every spot except Eduardo Escobar and Tomás Nido. Pete Alonso is the big bopper, leading MLB with his 82 RBI (one ahead of Judge) and placing fifth on the home run leaderboard with 25. That being said, they have looked rather pedestrian in recent games, scoring two runs against the Cubs in the final game before the break and then starting the second half scoring one run in back-to-back games against the Padres.
How to watch
Location: Citi Field — Queens, NY
First pitch: 7:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, SNY, TBS
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380
Online stream: foxsports.com/live