The Yankees head back to New York for the second installment of the 2019 Subway Series. They are coming off of a sweep of the Red Sox in the first annual London Series. They have won 5 straight games, opening up a 6.5 game lead in the division. Look for the team to continue their recent stretch of terrific baseball against a Mets team who is 3-7 in their last 10 games.
Game 1: Tuesday 7:10 PM
James Paxton (5-3; 4.34 ERA) vs Zack Wheeler (6-5; 4.51 ERA)
Game one of the series is a matchup between James Paxton and Zack Wheeler. Paxton has had an up and down season up to this point and is coming off of his worst start as a Yankee, a 4.1 inning, 6 run performance in the series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays. Zack Wheeler has put back to back terrific starts together, pitching 13 innings and allowing only 2 runs. The Mets pushed Wheeler and Vargas up in the rotation with the off day, ensuring two of their most effective starters are able to start against the Yankees.
Paxton will be making his third career start against the Mets. His first start came in 2017, a 6 inning 0 earned run performance. His second came earlier this year, a 2.2 inning 6 run start in which he earned the loss. Hopefully Paxton will be able to pitch more like his 2017 start and put the Yankees in a great position to win. Zack Wheeler is 0-2 in 2 career starts against the Yankees. He has never pitched 5 full innings against them, giving up at least 5 earned runs in both starts including a 9-run performance earlier this season.
Game 2: Wednesday 7:10 PM
TBD vs Jason Vargas (3-3; 3.66 ERA)
The Yankees have not yet announced a starter for game two. The expectation is that it will be either J.A. Happ or CC Sabathia. Neither pitcher has pitched since prior to the London series, so they should both be fully rested and ready to pitch. The Mets will counter with Jason Vargas who has been their best starter recently. He has now gone 11 straight appearances allowing 3 or fewer earned runs.
In 11 starts against the Yankees, Vargas is 1-7 with a 6.59 ERA. He has struggled mightily against the team prior to 2019 however he pitched well against them this season, earning his first career win with a 6 inning, 3 run performance. The Yankees offense will need to do a better job of attacking Vargas early in the count if they hope to win game two of the series.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not
DJ LeMahieu (Hot)
DJ LeMahieu cannot be stopped. He has been the best player on the Yankees so far in 2019, and it’s really not even close. In his last 7 games he has 11 hits in 20 at bats with 3 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs, and 10 RBIs. Along with his terrific offense is rock solid defense that he plays at all the infield positions. If LeMahieu can sustain this success over the entire season, he will go down as one of the biggest free agent steals in recent memory.
Aaron Judge (Hot)
Aaron Judge has been terrific since coming off of the Injured List. In the last week he is 8 for 14 with 2 home runs, 5 walks, and 5 RBIs. If Judge can produce at the level he did during his rookie season, it will make the Yankees offense even deeper than it currently is. If early indications are anything, it looks like that is exactly what is going to happen.
Gary Sanchez (Not)
Despite Gary Sanchez’s terrific first half of the season, it appears he has hit a slump in the last week or so prior to the All-Star Break. In his last week he is 3 for 18 with no extra base hits and only 2 walks. He also was pulled from Sundays win with a jammed thumb in the 9th inning. The Yankees do not expect Sanchez to miss any time with the injury, but it is certainly worth noting.
Edwin Encarnacion (Not)
Edwin Encarnacion has not played particularly well since being traded to the Yankees. In the last week he is 3 for 17 with 2 doubles, a home run, and 3 walks. Although the Yankees do not expect him to hit for a high average, he needs to hit better than .176 to justify his playing time. His power numbers are certainly still there and he is getting on base at a decent rate, so the dip in average is likely the result of a slump rather than any truly concerning metrics.
Fantasy Players to Watch
DJ LeMahieu has been the most consistent hitter on the Yankees team. He is on an incredible tear right now, with multiple hits in almost every game for a month. It is unlikely this streak can continue for the entire season, but until he shows signs of regression he will be the fantasy choice in the infield.
Aaron Judge has been terrific for the Yankees since returning from injury. He has shown his terrific defense in right field, gotten on base and hit for high averages. We are waiting for him to go on one of his patented tears in which he hits home runs in bunches. I expect it to happen soon, and as a result he is the fantasy choice in the infield.
With no confirmation on a starter for game two, the only choice here is James Paxton. Hopefully he can bounce back from a poor last start and string together some quality starts for this Yankees team. Everyone has seen that the ability to pitcher well is there, he just needs to come out and actually execute his pitches in order to so.
Adam Ottavino has been one of the most consistent relievers for this Yankees team. He consistently gets opportunities to pitch and strikes out a high percentage of the batters he faces. Look for this to continue against the Mets.
Keep up with the series previews all season and as always, Go Yanks!
Editors Note: This is a new thing we are doing this season. Each series you will choose one outfielder, one infielder, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher. We are only counting two stats. Total bases for hitters and strikeouts for pitchers.
Your totals will be counted and a winner will receive a prize at the end of each month. Make sure you come back and make your picks before each series. You will find them right here on the series preview post.