After four long days, baseball is back in full force Friday night, highlighted by a subway series matchup between the Mets and Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees are big favorites over the New York Mets on Friday.

The Yankees begin the second half of the season 4.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. A wild-card spot should be secure, but the Yankees have a lot of work to do if they hope to catch Boston and win the division. They were just 4-4 in their final eight games before the break, so the Yankees need to start the second half strong.

The Mets, meanwhile, are just playing out the season. Despite a brilliant start to the year, they have the fewest wins in the National League. The club will likely trade a few players before the end of the month. However, the Mets are close to full strength for now, and will even get Yoenis Cespedes back from a long DL stint on Friday.

How Many Do We Need?

The Yankees will send Domingo German to the mound to start the second half on Friday. This is a big outing for German, as the Yankees are no doubt mulling a trade or two for a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. They need to know if they can trust German in their rotation the rest of the season.

In 12 starts this season, German is 2-4 with a 5.97 ERA, with three of his last four starts before the break being rather disappointing. However, he did have a nice outing when he faced the Mets in June, striking out nine in six innings while allowing three runs on five hits. But with Cespedes back and Adrian Gonzalez no longer at first base, the Mets will look a little different from the team he faced in June.

Is He Really Back?

Meanwhile, the Mets will have Noah Syndergaard get their second half started. Syndergaard missed a month and a half with a finger issue but returned just before the all-star break to give up one run over five innings against the Nationals. He didn’t have his best stuff that day, but he managed to grind it out and give the Mets a solid outing and pick up a win.

On the season, Syndergaard is 5-1 with a 2.97 ERA, so if he gets back to form, he’ll have a chance to keep the Yankees contained. The current crop of Yankees is just 3 for 25 against Syndergaard, including Giancarlo Stanton, who is 0 for 11 with six strikeouts against Syndergaard. Of course, the man they call Thor has never faced the likes of Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, or Gary Sanchez, who has just returned from the DL.

The Team from Queens

The line for this game has steadily grown in favor of the Yankees, so much so that it may be best to bet on the Mets as the underdog. It doesn’t hurt that the Mets have the better starting pitcher, while their hitters got a glimpse of German last month. Bet on the New York Mets +150 over the New York Yankees on Friday. 

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