Frankie Montas has struggled since joining the New York Yankees. He has allowed six runs twice and boasts a 9.00 ERA in three starts over 14 innings for the Bronx Bombers. Montas will face off with Taijuan Walker and the Yankees’ crosstown rival, New York Mets.
Walker has struggled with giving up hard contact over the past few seasons. However, he has been a staple in the Mets’ rotation this year. Walker has pitched well most of the season, but a bulging disk in his back may prevent him from a lengthy outing on Tuesday.
Walker is listed as the starter, but proceed with caution. That said, Montas is nothing to write home about in New York. This game may very well come down to a battle of the bullpens. The Yankees’ bullpen has been abysmal in August, which some may blame for their poor performance since the deadline. The Mets’ relievers have been about league average, which could provide an edge, especially if Walker can string some innings together.
Take the Mets at -110. Even if a spot starter has to fill Walker’s slot in the rotation, Montas and the Yankee bullpen are fade-worthy.
New York Mets: Can Walker Carve Up Yankees Lineup?
Walker maintains a 3.37 ERA against a 4.18 xERA. This says he is fortunate nearly every time he’s on the mound. His Average Exit Velocity is 89.3 mph with a Hard-Hit Rate of 41.9% and he ranks in the bottom half of baseball in both key metrics. He does walk batters less often than league average and holds an above average Chase Rate. Health is more the key in this outing, so if he can provide a few innings, that’ll give the Mets a slight edge.
Then again, the Yankees just can’t hit right now. They rank 26th in MLB with a 76 wRC+ off of right-handers in August and are only above the Rockies, Angels, Marlins and Tigers. Matt Carpenter and Giancarlo Stanton being on the Injured List does not help this lineup, either. Only Aaron Judge has a xwOBA over .330. Josh Donaldson and Andrew Benintendi are the only other two Yankees above .300. This means Walker should mow down the other six hitters in the New York lineup.
The Mets relievers have a 3.79 xFIP in August, which is serviceable. They also have five key pieces under a 3.00 xFIP. They should be fine, especially given how poorly the Yankees have responded in the second half.
New York Yankees: Can Montas Find His Form?
Montas performed well in Oakland, but has not put it together in New York. He does rank in the top half of MLB in Hard-Hit Rate and Average Exit Velocity, but those numbers have not come through in two of his three starts with the Yankees.
The Mets also have a 143 wRC+ off of righties this month, ranking only behind the Dodgers and Cardinals. Luis Guillorme and Eduardo Escobar are on the IL, but this lineup has not missed a step. The Mets also have seven batters with a xwOBA over .330 off of righty pitchers. This doesn’t bode well for Montas.
The Yankees also rank third-to-last in bullpen xFIP at 4.59. The Yankees relievers are injury plagued and no one has a sub-3.00 xFIP. The advantage, once again, goes to the Mets.
With even moneylines, the Mets are a bargain in this matchup. They can actually hit righties and are strong top-to-bottom in the lineup. The Mets should also be able to push across some runs late in the game against the Yankees’ bullpen.
Even if Walker does not pitch, there is still value on the Mets. Take them at -110 and play them to -130.
Pick: New York Mets -110 | play to -130