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Yankees vs. Mets series preview: The return of the Subway Series

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

The Yankees make the quick trip to Queens for a weekend series against the NL East-leading Mets with quite a bit on the line. The crosstown rivals have pretty much locked up their division while the Yankees are still locked in a fight with the Blue Jays for the AL East crown. You can bet that the Mets would love to play spoiler for the Yankees, and they'll be sending out three of their best pitchers to try and get the job done.

Friday night's game will feature Masahiro Tanaka, who has been pitching like the ace the Yankees need him to be as of late, facing off against Steven Matz of the Mets. Michael Pineda will look to regain a bit of consistency when he starts the middle game of the series against the extremely tough Noah Syndergaard on Saturday in a FOX special. The series finale is the ever-beloved Sunday Night Baseball game where a slightly rejuvenated CC Sabathia will be taking on Matt Harvey. Sabathia has looked much better since trading in his old knee brace for a bigger one after his stint on the disabled list. The Yankees are surely sending the right pitchers into battle if they want to try and keep pace in the division race.

Although the Yankees have a somewhat comfortable lead in the Wild Card race as of now, the competition is really stacking up behind them. Faltering against the Mets in interleague play without one of their best hitters in the lineup in Alex Rodriguez could put them in a very bad position in the blink of an eye. They truly can't afford to slip now.

Here are tonight's lineups:

Today's Lineups

Brett Gardner - CF Curtis Granderson - RF
Chase Headley - 3B Yoenis Cespedes - CF
Carlos Beltran - RF Daniel Murphy - 2B
Chris Young - LF David Wright - 3B
Greg Bird - 1B Lucas Duda - 1B
John Ryan Murphy - C Travis d'Arnaud - C
Didi Gregorius - SS Michael Conforto - LF
Brendan Ryan - 2B Wilmer Flores - SS
Masahiro Tanaka - RHP Steven Matz - LHP


Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a $1,000,000 fantasy football league for week 1. It's $5 to enter and first place wins $100,000. Click here to join.