July 3 MLB Preview — New York Yankees at New York Mets

(Aaron Judge photo courtesy Steven Flynn/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Wednesday, July 3, Citi Field, Queens, N.Y., 7:10 p.m. EDT.

One of the key reasons the New York Yankees have been able to withstand a spate of injuries in the first half of the season is himself returning to action Wednesday night as Domingo German is expected to be activated off the injured list to face the New York Mets.

German to be on pitch count but will get bulk of work

German (9-2, 3.86 ERA) was tracking to potentially be on the American League All-Star team before being sidelined with a strained hip flexor nearly four weeks ago. His pitching has helped the Yankees withstand the loss of staff ace Luis Severino — who has yet to pitch this year because of rotator cuff and lat muscle issues.

“In some way, shape or form, Domingo German’s pitching the bulk of that game tomorrow,” manager Aaron Boone told New York radio station WFAN on Tuesday, not specifying whether the right-hander would start or follow an opener.

German, who leads the Yankees in wins, has yet to follow an opener this year. His lone relief appearance was a hitless two-inning stint with four strikeouts following CC Sabathia against the Chicago White Sox on April 13 in which he picked up the win.

The righty made one rehab start at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, throwing 65 pitches over four innings while allowing four runs and four hits.

German picked up his first interleague win in four starts earlier this year, yielding four runs and five hits in six innings of an 11-5 Yankees victory at San Francisco on April 28. He is 0-1 in two lifetime starts against the Mets, allowing three homers and seven runs in 9 2-3 innings.

New York’s run of injuries continued with Luke Voit being put on the injured list Tuesday with an abdominal strain. Voit, who was worthy of All-Star consideration with career highs of 17 homers and 50 RBIs in his first full season, suffered the injury running out a double in Saturday’s 17-13 win over Boston in London.

Trade rumors abound as Vargas tries to move on from reporter incident

Jason Vargas (3-3, 3.66) trails only Jacob deGrom in earned run average among Mets starters, but the fallout from his threatening a reporter following the team’s June 23 loss to the Chicago Cubs has made the right-hander a potential trade target ahead of the July 31 deadline.

The left-hander has not recorded a decision in his last three starts but is coming off one of his better outings of the season. Vargas struck out a season-high 10 over 6 1-3 innings Wednesday at Philadelphia, allowing two runs and three hits before New York eventually lost 5-4 in 10 innings.

Vargas, though, doubled down on his stance from that incident in Chicago, which may be the reason the team is willing to move him this month.

“I don’t think all the information is out there,” he said according to the New York Post. “I don’t think this is a time to get into that, but I think anybody that knows me or has played with me through the duration of my career, there has never been a situation like that, so think it just happened out of the blue would be foolish.

“Our organization made a statement and put an end to it, but I think it’s pretty obvious all the info wasn’t out there.”

His last win came against the Yankees on June 11 when he outpitched James Paxton in a 10-4 victory. Vargas had one shaky inning, with all three runs allowed coming in the third as he lasted six overall.

The southpaw is 11-10 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 career interleague starts but only 1-7 with a 6.67 ERA in 11 career matchups with the Yankees. Recently acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion has taken Vargas deep twice while going 8 for 32 with 11 walks.

Notable Trends:

The Mets are:

  • 2-8 in their last 10 Wednesday games.
  • 1-4 in Vargas’ last five home starts vs. above-.500 teams.
  • 2-5 in Vargas’ last seven starts vs. above-.500 teams.

The Yankees are:

  • 6-1 in their last seven interleague road games vs. left-handed starters.
  • 5-0 in their last five games vs. left-handed starters.
  • 6-2 in their last eight interleague games vs. left-handed starters.

5-Star Pick!!!!!

OVER 5.5 runs first 5 innings (-121)

The hook on the under side of six makes this a strong pick for the over, with the five-inning over 8-4-1 in the Yankees’ last 13 road games. The over delivered comfortably in Vargas’ previous start against the Yankees, and this is a confidence pick in the Bronx Bombers reigniting offensively and scoring at least four runs in the first five innings for the 10th time in 20 games.

4-Star Pick!!!!

Yankees -1.5 runs (+105)

Even with Tuesday night’s loss and German making his first start in nearly four weeks, the Yankees are still the pick as they seek a 14th win in 16 games and look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since a three-game skid from June 11-14.

Their offense may take a dip without Voit but has averaged 8.21 runs in that span. Additionally, with German on a pitch count, it would not be surprising to see the Yankees pick him up and continue their torrid offensive run.

3-Star Picks!!!

OVER 10 runs (-115)

The number came in on the high side of expectations, and without a hook to 11, the over is the play considering how the Yankees are mashing the ball. Unsurprisingly, the over is trending heavily with them — entering this contest 6-2 in their last eight games, 6-2 in their last eight versus NL East opponents and 36-14-2 in their last 52 road games.

It has also trended solidly for the Mets, posting a 4-2-1 mark in their last seven interleague home games and 5-2-2 in their last nine against AL teams. Vargas has trended solidly with the under at home, which makes this pick work examining when the number is announced, but the Yankees’ offense looks able to trump that.

Yankees OVER 5.5 runs (Even)

In addition to not losing back-to-back games since June 11 and 13, those defeats also mark the last time the Yankees were held under five runs in consecutive contests. The previous five times they were held to four or fewer runs, the Yankees rebounded with at least six runs on all five occasions in the following contest.

Mets +0.5 runs (-115)

With German coming off the injured list and on a pitch spot coupled with Vargas being effective of late, taking the Mets and grabbing the half-run at a decent rate of return is the play. The Mets are 4-2-1 at the five-inning mark of Vargas’ last seven starts, which included a 9-3 lead over the Yankees in his previous matchup.

Mets OVER 1 run first 3 innings (-136)

The hedge here is that it takes German an inning or two to consistently locate his pitches within the strike zone, which means the righty could be wild in the strike zone. He is a good pitcher in the first three innings, yielding six runs in 36 innings in his starts, but with the Mets averaging .67 runs in the first and .62 in the third, there is a chance they can nick runs off him early.

Published by:

Chris Altruda

Currently a freelance sportswriter on the hunt for full-time work. If you like my work or have constructive criticism, please share it and/or contact me at chris.altruda@hotmail.com or via Twitter at @AlTruda73 My portfolio of clippings can be viewed at http://www.clippings.me/caltruda And thank you for taking time out of your day to read my posts.

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