Two important milestones are near in the MLB season: the trade deadline and the dog days of August. That means the playoff races are shaping up and games are growing in importance.
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Mets, Yankees in Rare Position
This week the Mets and Yankees played two games against one another and for the first time in baseball history, the New York rivals met with both teams in first place. The Mets won both games, including one in their last at-bat on Wednesday night. This weekend, the Mets are facing the Miami Marlins, and the Yankees take on the Kansas City Royals.
Yankees fans always expect to win the pennant (thanks, George Steinbrenner for the expectations), but Mets fans carry modest hopes each season. This year seems different, with ace Max Scherzer back on the hill, and Jacob deGrom coming back soon for the Amazin’s.
What are the chances the Yankees and Mets could meet in the World Series for the second time? Caesars New Jersey lists odds for World Series exactas. The odds are the same (+1800) for the Yankees to beat the Mets and for the Mets to beat the Yankees. The last time the two teams met in the World Series, we saw a bizarre broken bat brouhaha. What might happen if Mad Max pitches a World Series game and faces Aaron Judge at Yankee Stadium?
Best Weekend MLB Games, July 29-31
Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
- Seattle is chasing a wild card spot. The Astros hold a large lead in the AL West.
- Astros starting pitchers have the best ERA in the AL, and Houston’s bullpen is the best in baseball with a 2.75 ERA.
- The Astros cooled off the M’s last weekend when they swept a three-game series in Seattle, ending the Mariners’ 14-game winning streak.
Milwaukee Brewers at Boston Red Sox
- The Red Sox have to decide whether to buy or sell at the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
- The Sox are looking up at six teams in the wild-card race. If the front office feels the team can’t push to get a playoff spot, it might dump some big names at the deadline. This series could be the last stand for this roster.
- The Brewers have gone Over in total runs in six of their last seven games, through July 27.
Minnesota Twins at San Diego Padres
- Since June 1, the Twins are 22-24, but they hold a precarious lead in the AL Central.
- The Padres enter the final weekend before the trade deadline as one of the teams most likely to make a big splash in the trade market. In spite of their talent, San Diego is in a wild card spot, sitting three games ahead of the first team out.
- Though they are 25-21 at home, the Padres have been outscored at home.
Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees
- Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole will be on the mound on Friday, followed by Nestor Cortes on Saturday, and Jordan Montgomery for the Yankees on Sunday.
- The Yanks are 27-10 against the Royals since 2016.
- The Royals rank 13th out of 15 teams in the AL in runs, home runs, and hits with runners on base
Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves
- The Braves have lost two series at home since May 14. They are 36-13 since June 1, making up eight games on the Mets in the NL East.
- Don’t bet against the defending champs catching the Mets, the Braves lead MLB in runs and defensive efficiency since June 15, and their 153 homers (as of July 26) are second only to the Yankees.
- Max Fried (10-3, 2.73) and Kyle Wright (12-4, 2.95) will start on Sunday and Friday for Atlanta, they have combined for 29 quality starts in 38 starts this season.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II