Yankees vs Mets – MLB Pick for June 8th
Friday brings our first taste of the Subway Series of 2018. The Mets will host the Yankees for a 3-game crosstown weekend set at Citi Field. Ace Jacob deGrom will toe the rubber for the Mets, while Masahiro Tanaka will climb the hill for the Yankees.
To say that deGrom has been anything other than phenomenal this season would be an understatement. The right-hander has a 2.50 xFIP along with a stellar strikeout rate a hair under 34 percent. His soft contact rate is actually nearly 3 percent higher than his hard-hit rate, which is crazy. deGrom has allowed just 3 homers in 72.1 innings thus far, which is impressive considering he yielded 28 last season.
He’ll have his work cut out for him today against the Yankees, but he does have the benefit of pitching against them at home rather than in the bandbox in the Bronx. DeGrom has shown normal splits, but he’s still held hitters of either handedness to a wOBA of .262 and under on the year. Most of the Yankees’ most daunting hitters are righties, so deGrom will have the platoon advantage.
The Yanks have also struck out 23.4 percent of the time this season against right-handed pitching, which plays right into deGrom’s hands. Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton all have tons of power, but all 3 also strike out at a decent clip.
As for Tanaka, he’ll have the fortune of facing a Mets lineup that has gone silent of late. The Mets have lost 6 games in a row to fall to 27-32 on the season, and they’ve mustered just 7 runs total in those 6 games. New York is without its best hitter in Yoenis Cespedes, and it shows. Entering play Friday, the Mets have the 5th-worst wOBA (.300) and 9th-worst wRC+ (92) in all of baseball.
Tanaka has a below average 4.79 ERA, but his 3.75 SIERA shows he’s been a bit unlucky. The right-hander has a strikeout rate over 23 percent and he’s kept his walks down, as usual. The hard contact rate of 34 percent is right about in line with his career average, so he’s been in decent enough form.
One problem that Tanaka has never been able to shake has been his knack for serving up home runs. Tanaka has already conceded 15 dingers on the year after giving up a whopping 35 last season. One benefit for Tanaka will be that he gets to face a Mets lineup whose best hitters (without Cespedes) are lefties. Tanaka has reverse splits in his career, and 11 of the 15 homers he’s allowed this year have come off the bats of right-handed hitters.
Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera will all swing the bat from the left side against the righty. This game is also taking place in one of baseball’s premier pitching settings, Citi Field.
Despite the fact that they have really been struggling with the sticks, I like the Mets at -109 on the moneyline with deGrom on the mound. I also think the under on 7 runs looks like a decent try. I’m fine with both bets in this spot.
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