After sweeping the first Subway Series of 2012 two weeks ago, the New York Yankees will take their talents to Citi Field and try to further exert their dominance over the New York Mets.
Despite having their 10-game winning streak snapped against Atlanta on Tuesday, the Yankees have built a little cushion in the American League East. They have a 2.5-game advantage over Baltimore and three games over Tampa Bay.
The Mets continue to defy the odds, thanks in large part to their three starters at the top of the rotation. R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana are two of the best stories in baseball this season, and Jonathon Niese has done a terrific job giving the Mets a viable option beyond their big two.
Which SP Do You Want For One Game Right Now?
Where: Citi Field in New York, NY
When: June 22-24
Watch: Yes Network (Yankees); SportsNet New York (Mets); Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET on MLB Network; Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET on Fox; Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
New York Yankees
Probable: 1B Mark Teixeira (heel)
15-Day DL: LF Brett Gardner (elbow), C Austin Romine (back)
60-Day DL: RP Cesar Cabral (elbow), SP Michael Pineda (shoulder), RP Mariano Rivera (knee), RP Joba Chamberlain (elbow, ankle), SP Brad Meyers (shoulder), RP David Aardsma (elbow), RP Pedro Feliciano (shoulder)
New York Mets
Questionable: RF Lucas Duda (hamstring)
Seven-Day DL: LF Jason Bay (concussion)
15-Day DL: LF Mike Baxter (shoulder), SS Ronny Cedeno (calf), RP Ramon Ramirez (hamstring), SS Ruben Tejada (quadriceps)
60-Day DL: SP Mike Pelfrey (elbow)
Friday: Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.77 ERA) vs. Jonathon Niese (4-3, 3.82 ERA)
Saturday: Ivan Nova (9-2, 4.32 ERA) vs. Chris Young (1-1, 3.06 ERA)
Sunday: CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA)
Yankees' Fantasy Must-Starts
CC Sabathia, SP
Despite a middle-of-the-road ERA, Sabathia has been his usual dominant self this season. He has 102 strikeouts to just 27 walks in 101.1 innings pitched.
Interleague play has always been kind to Sabathia, with a 22-8 record (if you're into using wins as a way to evaluate pitchers) throughout his career.
Given the Mets' soft lineup, Sabathia should have little problem putting forth another dominant effort, similar to the 10-strikeout complete game he had against Atlanta earlier this week.
Robinson Cano, 2B
Without a left-handed starter on the mound for the Mets in this series, Cano should feast on Mets pitching. Whether he is able to hit home runs is a different story, since Citi Field isn't exactly a haven for hitters.
Given his natural hitting ability and .335/.407/.635 slash line against righties, Cano is going to go off in the Subway Series.
Mets' Fantasy Must-Starts
David Wright, 3B
Sure, it is a cop-out to say that the best position player on a team is a fantasy must-start, but the Mets really have no one else in the lineup who scares opposing teams.
Wright is a superstar surrounded by a lot of spare parts. That is not to discredit what the team has accomplished up to this point, but it is a simple fact. Wright is hitting anyone and everyone he goes up against, so don't worry about any platoon splits when putting him in the lineup.
R.A. Dickey, SP
I waited until now to say this, but is there a better pitching matchup this weekend than Sabathia vs. Dickey?
We all knew what to expect from Sabathia coming into the year. Dickey, on the other hand, has become one of the greatest enigmas in baseball. Knuckleballers shouldn't be able to dominate the way he has so far, particularly with the back-to-back one-hitters, yet here he is, figuring out a way to do it.
While I don't expect another one-hitter, until Dickey proves he isn't going to succeed, how do you bet against him?
As much as I am looking forward to the Sunday matchup, I think the Yankees are too strong offensively for the Mets pitching—particularly the bullpen and Chris Young—to keep them down in this series.
Yankees win series 2-1