New York Yankees at New York Mets – MLB Pick and Prediction for August 17th

by Taylor Smith
on August 17, 2017
New York Yankees (-192)
New York Mets (+166)
Total: 7

The New York Mets and New York Yankees will wrap-up their four-game Subway Series on Thursday night from Queens. Lefty Steven Matz will take the ball for the Metropolitans opposite Yankees ace Luis Severino.

Unfortunately, this has been something of a lost season for Matz and the Mets in general. New York has already sold off on some key pieces, including Jay Bruce, Neil Walker and Lucas Duda. Obviously, missing bats such as those is going to hamper this team’s chances of doing much winning over the season’s final month-and-a-half.

Still, there’s reason for optimism with New York. Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey may return before season’s end. If those two can show something before the end of the year, perhaps there will be some optimism for this club heading into 2018.

Matz has been hurt much of this season, as well, and when he’s been healthy he hasn’t pitched very well. The 26-year-old is 2-6 with an ERA of 5.54 on the year. He hasn’t won a game since June 28, and the Mets have only won one of his last eight starts. Yikes.

Matz hasn’t pitched well against hitters from either side of the plate, but he’s been particularly abused by righties. All 11 of the homers Matz has surrendered have come at the hands of hitters from the right side of the dish, and he’s allowing a hard-hit rate of nearly 36% to righties.

Matz was a solid strikeout pitcher when healthy in the past, but he’s lost his ability to miss bats so far in ‘17. He has a strikeout rate of only 15.9%, which is easily the worst mark of his brief big league career. To say he’s been bad is probably an understatement.

On the flip side, the depleted Mets lineup will have to deal with the fireballing Luis Severino. The 23-year-old has instantly emerged as the ace of the Yankees’ staff this season. He’s 9-5 with a 3.32 ERA, but that last number is bloated big time by an awful outing in his last start. In just 4.1 innings against the Red Sox, Severino was blasted for eight earned runs on eight hits. That start took his ERA from 2.91 to 3.32.

Bad start aside, Severino has been great. He has a strikeout rate of 28.1%, which is one of the best marks in the league. He combines strikeouts with an above-average ground ball rate of 50.9%. The Mets have some pop in the lineup, but keeping the ball on the ground and missing bats altogether is certainly a good way to offset that.

This one figures to be a low-scoring affair. Citi Field is a tough park in which to hit, and we believe in the talent of the two pitchers taking the mound tonight. Matz isn’t nearly as bad as he’s shown this season. He may need to make some mechanical adjustments, but he’s no gas can.

It helps that the Yankees’ offense isn’t exactly gangbusters right now. Aaron Judge has begun to awaken from his slumber, but there are still plenty of holes in this lineup. If Matz can navigate Judge and Gary Sanchez, he should be in a fine spot for run prevention here.

We like the Mets as a sneaky underdog at +166 on the moneyline. Severino is prone to a blow-up start every now and then, and these Mets can be plucky now that they have some youth in the lineup.

This one’s a bit of a leap, but we’re going with the Mets at home tonight.
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