Tuesday night is the first of a four-game, split Subway Series between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.
The first two games are to be played at Citi Field in Queens, home of the Mets, while next month will see the return two-game series at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
Both sides are currently in first place in their respective divisions and on course to reach the playoffs in October. These four games over the course of three weeks, at packed out stadiums in the Big Apple, is what baseball should be all about.
New York Yankees vs New York Mets, Game One of Two
Citi Field, Flushing, Queens, New York City
7:10pm ET - Tuesday 26th July 2022 & Wednesday 27th July 2022
|How to watch:|
Tuesday - TBS, Wednesday ESPN
|Odds (Tuesday):||Yankees -1.5 (-115), Mets +1.5 (-105), Total: O/U 8.0|
The Yankees travel across town in sketchy form, having won five and lost five of their last 10 games. They were swept in a two-game series against the Houston Astros before picking up a 2-1 series win against divisional rivals the Baltimore Orioles.
While the Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 matches, their batting has been really off since the All-Star break, although that was turned around in Sunday night's victory over the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. However, the Padres still won the series in what could be a dress-rehearsal for the playoffs in October.
The Yankees currently have the best record in the American League (66-31), while the Mets have the second best record behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League. Could this be a prelude to a World Series clash between the two inter-city rivals?
These two franchises have met in the World Series before. In 2000, both the Mets and Yankees reached the Fall Classic. The Bronx Bombers were a powerhouse in Major League Baseball at that point, and secured their third consecutive World Series under manager Joe Torre, easily defeating the Mets 4-1 over five games.
The Yankees haven't reached the World Series since they last won it in 2009. They have won it 27 times, more than any other franchise, and reached the Series on 40 occasions.
In contrast, the Mets have reached the World Series on just five occasions, the last time in 2015. They last won the Fall Classic in 1986.
Despite holding onto a two-game lead of the National League East Division, the Mets have been struggling offensively despite slugger Pete Alonso helping them to an excellent win over the Padres on Sunday. To address that lack of power hitting they need, the Mets acquired designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach last week.
The Mets, however, need an extra batter and the front office will attempt to get another hitter. Could it be the Nationals' superstar Juan Soto? With the trade deadline closing next week, the Mets will make enquiries on that deal.
When ace pitcher Jacob deGrom got injured last year, the Mets imploded and gave up their lead in the National League East to the Atlanta Braves, who completed their fourth successive divisional win and also won the World Series for the fourth time in their history.
DeGrom did pitch in Spring Training, but complained of shoulder fatigue and it was announced that he had a stress reaction to his shoulder, so he spent his time on the 60-day injured list. The 34-year-old is set to complete his final rehab start on Wednesday, with a view to being fully fit to finish the season.
With Max Scherzer seemingly free of his ailments, the two aces could be the key for the Mets to progress through to the playoffs.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is having a special season. The 30-year-old has hit 37 home runs in this campaign, the most by a Yankee through 97 games since Mickey Mantle hit 39 in 1961.
Judge has a batting average of .294, the highest his average has been since 26th June, while he has reached base multiple times in seven straight games. He's 14-25 in that period with two doubles, six home runs and 15 RBI's.
The Mets will need pitchers Taijuan Walker and Max Scherzer- scheduled to throw in the series - to have their best stuff against a red-hot Judge.