The Bronx Bombers got their mighty bat back in the lineup this week, as Aaron Judge returned to the field with welcome arms for us Yankees fans out there. Judge needed some time to readjust to daily MLB life as he came off the IL on May 9. After going 0 for 10 in his first three games since returning to the lineup, Judge bashed out a pair of dingers on Saturday again the Rays that sparked a big comeback win for the Bombers.
The Mets’ offensive numbers this past week were terrible, and Max Scherzer had to skip his start due to a nagging neck injury. Scherzer returned to the field for the scheduled Sunday game after both teams completed Saturday’s affair which was completed early Sunday afternoon.
How the Yankees Week Ahead Shapes Up
Monday 5/15 – Thursday 5/18 @ Toronto Blue Jays
Friday 5/19 – Sunday 5/21 @ Cincinnati Reds
The Yankees easily earned two wins against Oakland to start last week, and the rain shortened the A’s stay in the Big Apple before the Bombers welcomed Tampa into the Big House for a highly anticipated early-season 4-game series.
The Rays have set the early bar for the American League and the Yankees don’t want to watch them simply run away with the AL East title. After losing the first game of that series with the Rays, the Yanks bashed out two wins on Friday and Saturday before losing the Sunday afternoon bout to split the series.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the fantastic moms!
Thank you for all that you do 💕 pic.twitter.com/8GHylKru7C
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 14, 2023
That is not a bad result and a 4 – 2 week is certainly a positive to take into this coming week ahead. The Yanks will spend this week on the road and another big 4-game division series with the Jays will set the tone for the trip to Cincinnati to finish the week. The Jays’ bats were extremely quiet last week only playing 5 games due to the weather, and Gerrit Cole will start the third game of the 4-game set for this high-profile AL East Division series.
Cole has yet to pick up a loss on his ledger this season, although he has only been able to manage a no-decision from four of his last five starts. After facing the Rays in back-to-back outings, Cole surrendered a pair of homers in each of his last two starts which each saw him gone before the sixth inning.
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The Yankees have only managed to put together 11 quality starts thus far, and Nestor Cortez Jr. is certainly not helping matters to better those numbers. Cortez didn’t make it out of the fifth inning in his last start against the Rays, and now he has given up two grand slams over his last three outings.
Cortez is the potential starter for the fourth game of the Jays’ series, and that offense could potentially eat him alive, as they could to most starting pitchers in either league.
The Jays are set up to send Alex Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt, and Jose Berrios to the mound for the 4-game series with the Yanks, and that ultimately gives them a decent edge to at least split the series if not take three wins from the 4-game set to start the week.
How the Mets’ Week Ahead Shapes Up
Monday 5/15 – @ Washington Nationals (4th Game of Series)
Tuesday 5/16 – Thursday 5/18 vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Friday 5/19 – Sunday 5/21 vs. Cleveland Guardians
After the Mets wrap up the fourth game of their series with Washington on Monday they’ll return home to play a pair of series against American League opponents. Landing the Rays right now isn’t suggested for a struggling offense because the Rays can both pitch and hit the tar out of the baseball to win games.
The Mets allowed a first-inning run every day last week until Scherzer pitched on Sunday. Scherzer gave up a second-inning run, however, and the Mets’ offense continued to be absent until halfway through Sunday’s game. Let’s not take away from Jake Irvin’s impressive start to his young career with the Nationals, but the Mets lineup is not instilling a lick of fear into any pitcher right now. The Mets finally broke down Irvin to bat around the order in the 5th inning to put an 8-run rally together, but they’ll need many more of those types of innings to get back to winning ways.
Can we take a moment for this dugout celly? pic.twitter.com/RAzxtxi7KG
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 14, 2023
Justin Verlander finally picked up his first win in a Mets uniform last week, and he is set up to make a pair of starts this week ahead. Verlander lasted 7 innings against the Reds this past week, but he barely got enough run support to pick up that first win. The Mets managed to score a pair of runs for Verlander and the 2 – 1 score held up.
Mets and Yankees Expectations This Week
I expect the Yankees to struggle on the road and lose 5 of their 7 scheduled games this week. The trip to Toronto is going to prove to be one that the Yankee offense will not figure out, and then it is on to Cincinnati.
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The Reds are a tough team to figure out because they are streaky and have the ability to score runs in bunches. I would smack the Over all three days the Yanks and Reds compete at the Great American Ballpark because the weather is heating up and that place breeds overs!
The Mets alternated wins and losses all of last week and the American League bats the pitching staff face this upcoming week could prove tricky. Even though Cleveland is not exactly doing much to hit a baseball either lately, I will go on a limb and say that the Mets cannot put up a winning week, and a 3 – 4 record will be the ceiling. Even with Verlander making two starts this week, the Mets still need to hit the ball behind him and the test of the staff.