The Mets and Yankees just completed a quick two-game series at Citi Field. Could it be a preview of the World Series later this October?
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This weekend the Yankees host the Royals, while the Mets travel south to Miami to face the Marlins. While both teams are in first place, wins are needed, as the Mets are trying to hold off the charging Braves, and the Yankees are in a battle with the Houston Astros for MLB’s best record.
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Questions About the Yankees and Mets
Are Yankees in Danger of Losing the No. 1 Seed in AL?
The rivalry between the Yankees and the Astros has several dimensions: At the team level, the front offices, and on the field with the players. It dates back to 2015 when the Astros shut out the Yanks in the Wild Card Game.
Two years later the Yanks lost in seven games to Houston in the AL Championship Series. That’s the series when the Astros are alleged to have used a trash can to steal signs. Aaron Judge has been vocal about that defeat, but it’s been revealed that the Yanks were using banned technology for stealing signs that year too.
In 2019, the Astros defeated New York again in the ALCS. So, that’s three times the ‘Stros have eliminated the Bombers from the playoffs in the last seven years. Add in a no-hitter thrown by Houston against the Yanks this June (the first at the new Yankee Stadium), and the MVP Award won by Jose Altuve in 2017 when Yankee fans felt the hardware should have gone to Judge, and well…these teams and fan bases hate each other.
The Yankees looked like they might win 120 games earlier in 2022, but now after cooling off, they’re seeing something get larger in the rearview mirror — the Astros, who are two games behind them for the No. 1 seed in the AL. Whichever team gets that spot will have the upper hand in a possible clash in the postseason.
Could the Mets Blow it?
On June 1, the Mets were 10 1/2 games ahead of the Braves. Entering play on July 28, that lead was down to 3 1/2 games. The Mets have been holding on to the division lead in spite of injuries to a pair of aces: Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Both pitchers are back now, but will it be enough to keep the defending world champs at bay?
The Mets are rumored to be seeking a bullpen arm, a starting pitcher, and possibly a left-handed bat at the trade deadline. If the team squanders a double-digit division lead, questions that have hounded manager Buck Showalter in the past will resurface.
Could Yankees and Mets Face off in the World Series?
In 2000, the Mets and Yankees met in the World Series. The Yankees won in five games, but now we’re faced with a possible rematch. A meeting between the two Big Apple teams now, with social media and all that goes with it, would be (as they say in New York) H’uuuuge.
You can bet on the two New York teams facing off in the World Series at Caesars Sportsbook. It’s a nice payout, too, at +1800 odds. DraftKings has a similar betting market. You can get those details here.
Mets at Marlins, July 29-31
- Friday, July 29, 6:40 p.m. ET: Chris Bassitt (7-7, 3.72) vs. Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.81)
- Saturday, July 30, 6:10 p.m. ET: Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 4.07) vs. TBD
- Sunday, July 31, 1:35 p.m. ET: Taijuan Walker (8-2, 2.67) vs. TBD
- The Mets have gone over the Total Runs 53.3% of the time this season, the fourth-highest mark in MLB.
- Carlos Carrasco has never lost to the Marlins, he’s 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA in seven starts.
- The Mets may be a good play for “First 5 Inning” bets. Their bullpen has allowed at least two runs in five of their last seven games.
Royals at Yankees, July 29-31
- Friday, July 29, 7:05 p.m. ET: Kris Bubic (2-6, 5.53) vs. Gerrit Cole (9-3, 3.09)
- Saturday, July 30, 2:05 p.m. ET: Zack Greinke (3-6, 4.35) vs. Nestor Cortes (8-3, 2.48)
- Sunday, July 31, 1:35 p.m. ET: TBD vs. Jordan Montgomery (3-3, 3.50)
- The Yankees have not lost a season series to the Royals since 2014. The Yanks are 17-5 in their last 22 games against KC at Yankee Stadium.
- Aaron Judge has hit at least one homer in each of the Yankees’ last five series.
- Gerrit Cole has a 2.60 career ERA at Yankee Stadium, where he is 16-7. He’s 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA lifetime vs. KC.
Once Upon a Time: When the Yankees and Royals Were Rivals
Brief History of the Yankees/Royals Rivalry
- 1976: The Yankees defeated the Royals in AL Championship Series. In the fifth and deciding game, Chris Chambliss hit a walk-off homer at Yankee Stadium to give the Yanks their first pennant in 12 years.
- 1977: The Yankees scored three runs in the top of the ninth to defeat KC again in the fifth game of the playoffs and win the pennant. NY won the final two games on the road. The fifth game is marred by a brawl prompted by a hard slide into third base by George Brett, which spurred NY third baseman Graig Nettles to throw punches.
- 1978: For a third straight October, the Yankees eliminated the Royals in the AL Playoffs, this time in four games.
- 1980: Exacting revenge, the Royals beat the Yankees in the ALCS in a three-game sweep to capture their first pennant.
- July 24, 1983: A home run by George Brett at Yankee Stadium that would have won the game is nullified by the umpires when NY manager Billy Martin challenges that Brett has pine tar illegally on his bat. The famous “Pine Tar Game” becomes a lightning rod for controversy. The ruling is later reversed by the league office and the Royals win, Brett’s homer restored.
AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh