Subway Series 2016 Rumors: 5 Things To Watch For As Mets, Yankees Collide [POLL, VIDEO]
The summer is about to heat up in the scene of New York City baseball.
The Mets and Yankees are set to collide in the 2016 Subway Series starting Monday at Citi Field in Queens. The showdown will remain in the borough for Games 1 and 2 on Monday and Tuesday before shifting to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Thursday.
It's been a disappointing year for both clubs as the Yankees have gone into full sell mode -- trading two parts of their three-headed bullpen monster -- and the defending National League champion Mets have been bitten by the injury bug and aren't quite the force they were expected to be.
The Yankees enter the Subway Series with a 52-52 record and are seven games out in the AL East and 5 1/2 games back for the final AL Wild Card spot. The Mets, meanwhile, enter Monday at 54-50, sit 6.5 games out in the NL East and 2 1/2 back in the Wild Card race.
Here are five things to watch for during the Subway Series.
1) Trading Places
This year's start to the Subway Series is overshadowed by the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. The Yankees made two major deals, sending closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for some prospects and set-up man Andrew Miller over to the Indians, leaving seventh-inning pitcher Dellin Betances as the lone remaining member of No Runs DMC.
The Bronx Bombers brought in Adam Warren and Tyler Clippard to help fill the void, but they'll certainly be a different looking team on Monday.
While they have been quiet aside from rumors of a potential trade for Jay Bruce, the Mets are dealing with a plethora of injuries. David Wright (neck), Jose Reyes (intercostal), Lucas Duda (back) and Juan Lagares (thumb) are all on the disabled list, while Asdrubal Cabrera is likely headed there with a knee injury he sustained in Sunday's win over the Rockies.
2) Pitching In
The Mets were supposed to boast an all-world rotation, but Matt Harvey is out for the season after struggling for most of it and Zack Wheeler has suffered many set-backs en route to a return to the mound from Tommy John surgery.
Still, the rotation in flushing has held up nicely for the most part as the Mets' 3.35 team ERA ranks third in the majors. The Yankees have had a lot of inconsistencies in their rotation and enter Monday with a 4.20 team ERA, which ranks 14th in the MLB.
The pitching matchups will see Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.12) vs. CC Sabathia (6-8, 3.95) on Monday, Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.56) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (7-3, 3.16) on Tuesday, Steven Matz (8-7, 3.35) vs. Ivan Nova (7-6, 4.90 ERA) on Wednesday and Bartolo Colon (9-6, 3.58) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (9-7, 4.78) on Thursday.
3) Offensive Struggles
Both of these teams have had a rough time of it offensively. The Yankees enter Monday last in the AL in team slugging percentage (.391) and team OPS (.700), while they're 12th in runs (419) and batting average (.249).
In Queens, things haven't gone much better for the Mets. On top of their monumental difficulties with runners in scoring position, the Mets are last in the majors with a grisly .237 team batting average and 817 hits, while their 381 runs are third-worst in the league. The Queens contingent however is third in the NL with 133 homers.
4) Leading The Way
While the offense has been a struggle for both teams, each boasts an outfielder who is getting the job done. Carlos Beltran, a subject of trade rumors, paces the Yankees with a .304 batting average, 22 homers and 64 RBIs this season. Yoenis Cespedes, who was acquired at the deadline by the Mets last year, leads the club in all three categories, owning a .291 average, 22 homers and 58 RBIs, though he's dealing with a balky quad.
The Mets boast several league leaders as Jeurys Familia leads the MLB with 37 saves despite having his streak snapped with two straight blown saves last weekend, and Syndergaard (2.48) and deGrom (2.56) enter Monday ranking fourth and fifth in the NL in ERA, respectively.
Update: The Yankees have traded Carlos Beltran to the Rangers.
5) City History
These teams met six times last season, with the Yankees taking four of those games -- two of three at Yankee Stadium in April and then two of three at Citi Field in September. Overall, the Yankees own a 60-44 regular season advantage and also took the World Series from their New York City rivals in five games in 2000.