The New York Yankees hope to put the finishing touches on a sweep over the crosstown rival Mets at Citi Field on Sunday night. The Bronx Bombers took Saturday’s game 4-3 and are -240 favorites to win Sunday’s game as well.
With Saturday’s win, the Yankees remained half a game over the Red Sox atop the AL East, although because of some oddities in the schedule, they are actually three games up on Boston in the loss column. The team from the Bronx has won seven of their eight games to start June, and while they won’t have the most wins in baseball, they do have the fewest losses.
Speaking of losses, the Mets have now lost eight games in a row, dropping them seven games under .500. Only the Marlins and Padres have a worse record among National League teams, which is astounding to think about after the Mets started the season 11-1. To be fair, eight of their last 14 losses this season have come by a single run, so they’ve been close in games but always find a way to lose.
Ace on the Hill
To make matters worse for the Mets, Sunday night they’ll be facing Yankees ace Luis Severino. In 13 starts this season, the 24-year old is 9-1 with a 2.20 ERA. Severino has been phenomenal all season, throwing at least six innings in all but one of his starts. He’s also struck out 10 or more batters in four of his last seven starts, as his stuff has been un-hittable at times.
On Sunday, Severino will be facing a Mets lineup that has been abysmal for much of the season and even worse during the team’s current losing streak. Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki is the only hitter batting over .200 in the team’s last seven games, and he may not even play on Sunday. With three runs on Saturday, the Mets scored more than a single run for the first time since last Friday, illustrating how much of a struggle it’s been for them lately.
Just Filling In
The Mets initially planned for Noah Syndergaard to return from the DL to make this start. But after experiencing a setback earlier this week, Syndergaard remains on the DL, forcing the Mets to give Seth Lugo the start. Lugo has been excellent out of the bullpen this season. He’s given up just three runs total since the end of April. Lugo also pitched four scoreless inning against the Cubs in a spot start last week. However, he’s only stretched out enough to give the Mets five innings, six if they’re lucky, before turning the game over to a thin and problematic bullpen.
Lugo will also face a lineup averaging 5.5 runs per game, the highest in baseball. The Yankees have cooled off slightly over the first two games of this series. However, they are capable of getting contributions from any of their eight hitters, even without the use of a DH.
No Miracles Here
It would be a minor miracle for the Mets to either break out of their slump against Severino or keep the Yankees off the scoreboard for nine innings and win by only scoring a run or two. This could end up being another game that’s close late, but it’s hard to see the Mets finding a way to win. Bet on the Yankees -240 to win Sunday night.