This one advantage gives Mets a chance in Subway Series

The Battle for the City it’s not, since that fight ended for this season a long time ago. But the Subway Series that begins Friday night in The Bronx will still provide plenty of storylines, from the potential return of Yoenis Cespedes to what might be Jacob deGrom’s final start as a Met. The Yankees figure to have Gary Sanchez back. With the second half of the season set to start, let’s take a look at how the teams match up:

At the plate

Getting on base: The Yankees weren’t able to pry Manny Machado from Baltimore — he went to the Dodgers — and Gleyber Torres isn’t expected back until the Yankees face the Rays on Monday, but the return of Gary Sanchez bolsters an already deep lineup. Now healthy, perhaps Sanchez can return to being the force the Yankees have seen in the past. Brandon Nimmo has been the Mets’ best hitter, but perhaps the time off did Michael Conforto some good.
Edge: Yankees

Hitting for power: Asdrubal Cabrera — not Jay Bruce, Cespedes or Conforto — leads the Mets with 17 homers, though he might not be in Queens much longer. The Yankees have gotten power from everywhere. Brett Gardner is the only everyday player who hasn’t missed time with injury who doesn’t have double-digit homers.
Edge: Yankees

On the basepaths: Expect plenty of home runs this weekend — not a lot of speed.
Edge: Even

In the field

Infield defense: The Mets are simply trying to field a team, their disabled list littered with everyday players. This would be the time to see if Dominic Smith can survive at first, but Wilmer Flores is getting the bulk of the playing time. The Yankees’ defense takes a bit of a hit when Torres and Tyler Wade aren’t at second.
Edge: Yankees

Outfield defense: The Yankees can use their best outfield — Brett Gardner in left, Aaron Hicks in center and Aaron Judge in right — with Stanton as DH. The Mets continue to struggle to come up with a center fielder, since Conforto is better suited for the corners.
Edge: Yankees


With Sanchez back, Austin Romine returns to his backup role. Wade provides speed off the bench. Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes and Flores should all be bench players — at best — but are often plugged into the lineup to make up for the absence of the likes of Bruce and Todd Frazier.
Edge: Yankees

On the mound

Rotation: If the Mets are serious about rebuilding, they could listen on all three of their starters in this series: Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom. Domingo German could end up in the bullpen should the Yankees add a starter by the deadline, and Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka are question marks.
Edge: Mets

Bullpen: Aroldis Chapman’s left knee tendinitis is a concern, but the Yankees’ pen is strong. Anthony Swarzak and Jerry Blevins have been part of an ugly Mets relief corps that could get even worse if Jeurys Familia is shipped off.
Edge: Yankees


Aaron Boone could be in for a challenge as the Red Sox look to pad their lead in the AL East, but it’s a task Mickey Callaway could only dream about.
Edge: Yankees


The Mets could be looking at a selloff — and a waiting game for Tim Tebow’s call-up — while the Yankees hope to use the series to propel them into the second half.
Edge: Yankees

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