Jorge Masvidal teases UFC return: ‘Soon…’

One of the most popular fighters in the UFC could be getting ready to make his return. Jorge Masvidal (35-15) took to Twitter this afternoon where he was asked about his return to the octagon. Gamebred responded with a single word: Soon.

The last time we saw Masvidal was at UFC 261 when he had his welterweight title rematch with Kamaru Usman. Masvidal was knocked out in the second round by the champion. It was the first time in Masvidal’s UFC career that he was stopped by strikes.

It’s been an interesting stretch for the BMF. Masvidal’s last victory came at UFC 244 when he defeated Nate Diaz (20-13) for the UFC‘s BMF title. The one-off title belt was awarded to Masvidal after a doctor called a stop to the action due to a cut on Diaz.

After that victory, Masvidal was promised a title shot. However, negotiations didn’t go well at first and Masvidal’s shot was given to Gilbert Burns. Gilbert Burns was set to fight Kamaru Usman to headline the UFC‘s first PPV on Fight Island, but he tested positive for COVID.

The promotion went back to Masvidal on a week’s notice and Masvidal took the fight. Masvidal lost, but Usman gave him a rematch to show that it didn’t matter how long Masvidal had to prepare. Ultimately, the champion was right this time around and Masvidal came up short at UFC 261.

Who will Masvidal face in his UFC return?

There are a lot of great fights out there for the UFC’s BMF. His ultimate goal is to become welterweight champion, but it’s going to take another big winning streak to warrant another fight with Kamaru Usman.

Colby Covington is likely to get the next fight with the champion. With those two seemingly lined up, I think a matchup with Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) would be great. There’s history there due to their backstage altercation back in 2019 and Edwards is at the top of the division.

A win over Leon Edwards would put Gamebred right back in title contention. Another possibility could be either Diaz brother. There’s history with Nate Diaz and at one point last year the UFC was looking at booking the BMF title rematch.

Nick Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) on the other hand is gearing up for his octagon return. The elder Diaz is wanting a big fight and he’s targeting a UFC return in September or October. That would seemingly line up with Masvidal’s tweet.

I don’t believe that a fight announcement is imminent, but I think we will start hearing more and more about Gamebred’s next move soon.

Sound Off: Who do you think Jorge Masvidal should fight when he returns to the octagon?

New York Jets release undrafted rookie Jordyn Peters

New York Jets

The New York Jets released Peters, a UDFA out of Auburn, after they officially announced the signing of Morgan Moses.

The New York Jets announced the release of safety Jordyn Peters while confirming the previously reported addition of offensive lineman Morgan Moses. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the one-year deal has a base of $3.6 million and can be worth up to $5.3 million if/when incentives kick in.

New York released Peters to make room for Moses on the 90-man roster. Peters was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn and was noted for his ability to contribute on special teams after blocking four punts during his three-year tenure with the Tigers. In that time, he also earned 101 tackles, two sacks, and an interception. He earned a career-best 42 tackles last season during 2020’s shortened season.

Peters was expected to contend for a roster spot through both his special teams work and experience at strong safety. That positional battle, dominated by youth, is headlined by sophomore Ashtyn Davis and incoming veteran free agent LaMarcus Joyner.

Moses is projected to be the Jets’ new primary right tackle, a spot previously occupied by George Fant. Previously of the Washington Football Team, Moses has started and partaken in every game since 2015. His arrival is part of an offensive line reclamation project that also welcomed in Aljah Vera-Tucker this offseason. Moses is also excepted to take on the role of a veteran mentor for both Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Yankees place OF Clint Frazier on injured list, hurting depth even more

nyy, yankees, clint frazier

With the trade deadline approaching, the New York Yankees might want to start considering a more prominent move rather than bringing in below-average players to supplement significant losses. On Friday, the Yankees announced that outfielder Clint Frazier would head to the injured list with vertigo, as he will undergo a battery of tests after experiencing dizziness.

Frazier has appeared in 66 games this year, hitting .186 with nearly a 30% strikeout rate. The reality is, the Yankees offered Clint an opportunity to be the starter moving forward, and he has underwhelmed considerably after posting back-to-back seasons of a .267 average. While his defense has improved to a degree, his offense has taken a significant step backward.

The Yankees recently acquired Tim Locastro from the Arizona Diamondbacks after being heavily time connected to Ketel Marte. Hopefully, general manager Brian Cashman has a few tricks left up his sleeve, as the Yankees desperately need more offensive support to help compensate for lackluster starting pitching as of late.

New York Yankees: Mid-season player report cards and comparisons

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

Before the 2021 season started, the New York Yankees looked like they had their best chance of accomplishing the next world championship goal. Two major competitors seemed to be far less strong. The Boston Red Sox with a new controversial manager and in complete disarray, and a Tampa Bay team that had traded away some of their best pitchers were Yankee Killers.

Then everything was turned on its head. The Yankees got off to a plodding start (5-10) while the Tampa Bay Rays outplayed them, and to add insult to injury, the Yankees were 1-5 against them. The bigger surprise for the Yankees was that the hapless Red Sox were 10-5 during the same fifteen-game period.

Now at the halfway point, the New York Yankees are playing inconsistent ball and are nine games out of first place in the AL East.  They can’t win against the Red Sox nor the Tampa Bay Rays. With the Yankees seemingly unable to right their ship, the team gets a D on their report card. That D extends to manager Aaron Boone who doesn’t seem to be able to inspire his team to play to their capabilities.

The first figure next to the player’s name is their card from the first quarter and the second is the change since then.

Gerrit Cole, A+/A

Gerrit Cole has a record of 8-4, ERA 2.66 with 129 strikeouts. His record 6-2, ERA 1.81in the first quarter was absolutely amazing this season, considering he has gotten pretty poor run support. He is second in all of baseball with 129 strikeouts. He also has gone deeper into games than any other Yankee pitcher. At the quarter, he led the majors in strikeouts; he is now 5th. Although he is the best Yankee pitcher, his performance has fallen off. Yankee fans expected him to win 20 games this season; at this point, that doesn’t seem likely.

Corey Kluber, A/B

Record 4-2, ERA 2.86. After a slow start in the last several games, Corey Kluber has shown that he can be the Cy Young Award pitcher that he has been in the past. First, he recorded the Yankees’ 12th no-hitter against the White Sox. But then he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. He will be out for at least another month.

Domingo German, A/C

Record 4-5, ERA 4.50, his record at the quarter was 4-2, ERA 3.05. After a rough start being sent down to Scranton, he had returned to his 2019 form when he was 18-4. The New York Yankees won six straight of his starts. But then things went downhill fast; in the second quarter, he hasn’t had a win. The Yankees have lost his last two starts, and he hasn’t gone more than 4.1 innings since June 6th.

Jordan Montgomery, B+/B+

Record 3-2, ERA 4.06, his record at the quarter was 2-1, ERA 4.07. Montgomery has been pretty good but also quite inconsistent. Other than Gerrit Cole, he is second in strikeouts but also suffered from a lack of command. Four of his starts at the quarter were for five or fewer innings. However, in June, he has pitched into the sixth inning in all of his games and complete seven innings on May 21st. The interesting thing about his stats is that the Yankees have won 11 of his 15 starts.

Jameson Taillon D+/F

Record 3-4, ERA 5.43, his record at the quarter was 1-3, ERA 5.06. Jamison Taillon has not fully shaken off all the rust from his lack of pitcher after two Tommy John surgeries. His 5/23 outing against the White Sox was one of his best. However, since then, he has only gotten worse and is the Yankees’ most undependable pitcher.

Aroldis Chapman A+/B+

At the quarter, his relief record 4-0, ERA 0.47. Chapman, with the addition of his new splitter and has been lights out, going 19 games without giving up a run and recording almost 2.1 strikeouts a game. However, on May 8th, he proved he was human by giving up his first run of the season. Since then, he has blown 3 saves and took the loss in two games and, most recently, on 6/30, failed a hold in an unbelievable 9th inning, giving up 4 earned runs while only recording a single out. If he continues his 9th inning struggles, his report card will drop like a rock.

Jonathan Loaisiga A/A+

Record 7-3, ERA 2.32, was 3-2, ERA 2.49 at the quarter. Loaisiga, ever since spring training, has been manager Boone’s most dependable reliever. Since the last report card, he has only gotten better being Boone’s most reliable reliever.

Lucas Luetge B+/B+

Record 2-1, ERA 3.15; at the quarter, it was 2-0, ERA 2.95. Luetge, after a long time out of the majors, was given a change by the Yankees, and he has not disappointed this season. He had only one bad relief appearance when he gave up 3 runs in the 6/30 game against the Angels.

Chad Green  B/B+

Record 2-4, ERA 2.48, at the quarter he was 0-3, ERA 2.25. Chad Green is Chad Green, the most dependable reliever the Yankees have had over the last several years. This season he has been put into some challenging situations but still has a low 2.48 ERA.

Luis Cessa C/B+

Record 1-1, ERA 3.31. At the quarter, he was 0-0, ERA 3.00, and hadn’t got into full relief mode, but history shows he gets better as the season progresses. That holds pretty much true as he is a dependable reliever. He gets nearly a strikeout per inning and has given up only twelve runs in 36 innings pitched. At this point in the season, he has the best ERA of his 6-year career.

Aaron Judge A+/A+

Batting average .285 at the half. Aaron Judge has been gangbusters lately after a slow start to the season, hitting 12 home runs and leading the team in hits at the quarter. At the half, he has 18 home runs and leads the team in every stat except doubles. He has played well enough to be the only New York Yankee to be elected to the 2021 All-Star Game in Denver.

Giancarlo Stanton A+/A

Batting average .269. Before going on the IL with a quad strain, Stanton led the team in home runs and was the spark that ignited the team. After a brief off period, he is hitting again and has the second-most home runs on the team.

Gleyber Torres A/C

Battin average .242. Gleyber Torres got a lot of flack at the beginning of the season for poor field play, and he wasn’t hitting. That changed, and his fielding and hitter went up. Now it has changed again, and his batting average is down, and so is his defense. He has been inconsistent and has hit only 3 home runs, compared to his 38 in 2019.

Gio Urshela B+/A

Batting average .272. Gio Urshela continues to shine at the hot corner making amazing play after amazing play. He has also been the most consistent Yankee hitter, performing at key moments. He has 10 homers on the season.

DJ LeMahieu B/B+

Batting average .273. LeMahieu is still one of the Yankee’s best hitters but is not performing anywhere near like he did last season. He bats almost full 100 points below the average he ended up with last year, earning the baseball batting title.

Brett Gardner C/C

Batting average .204. Gardner is not hitting this year and has yet to hit his first home run of the season. But he is better than several of the bench players. In the field, he hasn’t lost a beat, making incredible plays. All three of his home runs have been in the month of June. So he may finally be heating up.

Clint Frazier D/F

Batting average .186. Frazier has hit pretty poorly so far in the season, although he seems to be coming into form of late. This season’s main asset is his mostly stellar play in the field, making many wild diving catches and taking runs away from opponents. However, he is the team’s biggest disappointment this year and may soon be on the trading block.

Gary Sanchez D-/B+

Gary Sanchez has been a tale of two different players. After hitting only .147 last season until recently, he looked to be on track to have another lousy season. He even lost his starting catching job to Kyle Higashioka. But after having a .178 batting average at the quarter, he has raised that to .238. In addition, he has 8 home runs in June after only having 6 during April and May combined. He is the New York Yankees’ most improved player.

Luke Voit X/D

Luke Voit after not starting the season due to knee surgery has returned to the team. He has yet to get him hitting rhythm he is batting just .195 since his return on May 11th. He has only 3 home runs compared to his 22 last season when he was the baseball home run leader.

Some players did not get report cards due to not playing enough games or being in the IL for a prolonged period.

Could Gane – Lewis at UFC 265 ultimately lead to Jon Jones – Francis Ngannou?

UFC, Jon Jones

Earlier this week we learned that UFC 265 would be headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (9-0). The PPV headliner will take place in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas and the interim heavyweight title will be on the line.

The decision to create an interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 was perplexing. Mass confusion fell upon the MMA community due to the fact that Francis Ngannou (16-3) just won the heavyweight title back in March.

Ngannou has been on vacation and told the UFC he’d be ready to fight Derrick Lewis for the undisputed title in September. However, the promotion needed a main event for August 7th. Their solution was to book Lewis in an interim title fight.

Now, this leaves the undisputed heavyweight champion without a fight. The UFC has said that Gane and Lewis are fighting for the interim title because they are the two most deserving contenders and they are ready to fight on August 7th. Again, doesn’t make a ton of sense, but that’s their story.

However, there could be a silver lining here for all parties involved. Perhaps the UFC can now put together the fight that fans wanted to see all along. Maybe it’s time for the promotion to revisit the superfight between Ngannou and Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC).

Will the UFC try to make Ngannou – Jones happen?

Let’s rewind time back to just before UFC 260 where Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic. The storyline leading up to the fight was that Jon Jones would be moving up to heavyweight and would be fighting the winner.

For months, that’s what Dana White and the UFC had been saying. Jon Jones vacated his light heavyweight title last year to prepare for his move to the heavyweight division.

However, immediately after UFC 260 we learned the fight was going to be hard to make. Jones and the promotion could never come close to a deal and as a result, the UFC moved on from Jones and focused on Derrick Lewis.

Now, we find ourselves in an interesting position. Jones recently hired Richard Schaeffer as his new representative. Schaeffer has a great relationship with UFC President Dana White and has already said publicly that he’s confident the Jones – Ngannou fight will get done.

Heavyweight Tournament?

With this interim title fight on the books for UFC 265, I think it’s time to go back to the negotiation table. There has never been a better time to book Jones against Ngannou. With the interim title fight booked, you get to give the top contenders the crack at gold that they rightfully deserve.

At the same time, if you book Ngannou – Jones, you’re also giving UFC fans the fight they want to see. A four-man tournament could be playing out for the biggest prize in all of combat sports. Of course, at this point it’s all talk, but even Ngannou’s coach talked about this potential silver lining. 

There’s also the outside chance that a four-man tournament plays out without Jones. Stipe Miocic (20-4) is bulking up and wants the trilogy with Ngannou. Perhaps the UFC moves in that direction if a fight with Jones still can’t be made.

This is definitely going to be a storyline to watch over the coming weeks.

Sound Off: Should the UFC book Ngannou against Jones/Miocic or wait for the Gane-Lewis winner?

Mets Game Preview: (7/2/21) @ New York Yankees (41-39)

New York Yankees, New York Mets

The New York Mets and New York Yankees begin their newest installment of the Subway Series, but both teams are in the midst of their own turmoil. Both teams also have the same amount of wins, but the Mets are in first place while the Yankees sit in fourth. If the rain holds off, first pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Mets come off a back-breaking loss against the Atlanta Braves after tying the game in the ninth. The Braves never hit a ball out of the infield but still scored the game-winning run in the bottom half. Over the last 30 days, the Mets have the third-worst scoring offense in all of baseball. This included the second-worst average (.215) and fifth-worst slugging percentage (.372).

The Yankees allowed seven runs in the ninth to blow their win against the Los Angeles Angles. It caused a rippling effect throughout the organization as fans want Aaron Boone fired, but owner Hal Steinbrenner will not commit to any dramatic changes. In the loss to the Angles, Aroldis Chapman allowed a game-tying grand slam and has come back to Earth after his fantastic start to the season. On May 23, he let up his first run of the season and has a 10.13 ERA and three blown saves since.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker makes his 15th start of the season as he takes the mound for the Mets. Walker was once again brilliant in his last start and would have pitched even better if he could get Aaron Nola out. He pitched five innings, allowing three hits, one run, and struck out five. Walker is ninth in the NL with his 2.38 ERA but allowed seven runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings at Yankee Stadium last season.

Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yankees and has been a consistent arm in a year with nothing behind Gerrit Cole. In 15 starts, he has a 4.06 ERA and has done great at limiting walks with just 2.5 walks per nine innings. Montgomery battled through six innings, holding the Boston Red Sox to three runs on eight hits.

Matchups To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Rougned Odor: 6-for-13 (.462), Home Run, 2 Strikeouts

Jordan Montgomery vs. Kevin Pillar: 2-for-11 (.182), 3 Strikeouts

Ciryl Gane knew about interim title fight before UFC Vegas 30

Ciryl Gane UFC

We are just days removed from learning that UFC 265 will be headlined by an interim title fight between Ciryl Gane (9-0) and Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC). The PPV is being held in Houston which is the home of The Black Beast.

The news took everyone by surprised. For the last couple of months, the UFC had been working on Lewis fighting Francis Ngannou (16-3). Ngannou is the undisputed heavyweight champion who just won the title in late March.

However, Ngannou went home to Africa to celebrate his title victory. He just returned to the United States and voiced to the UFC that he wouldn’t be ready for August 7th. Ngannou and his management did accept a fight against Lewis for the undisputed title in September.

However, that didn’t fit the timeline for the UFC. The promotion wanted Lewis to headline the August card in his hometown. UFC 265 has another title fight in Amanda Nunes – Julianna Pena, but the promotion didn’t want that as the headliner.

While Nunes is the greatest female fighter of all time, she’s not a massive draw as her headlining PPVs show. With that, the UFC took an aggressive approach to finding a big time matchup to fill the main event slot. That big time matchup is the interim heavyweight title fight.

Gane knew before UFC Vegas 30

We now know that the wheels were in motion for UFC 265 before the fights last weekend. At UFC Vegas 30, Ciryl Gane defeated Alexander Volkov in the main event. It was a beautiful performance by Gane who took virtually no damage in the fight.

Gane spoke with MMA Junkie this week and said that the promotion approached his management before his fight last weekend. The UFC told the Gane camp that Gane would get a shot at Derrick Lewis for the interim title if he were to win and come out clean.

Once Gane got his hand raised on Saturday night and was cleared to compete, the UFC moved forward with the booking. I still don’t agree with the decision to create an interim title especially considering Ngannou just won the belt and would be ready a month later.

The decision makes absolutely no sense from a combat sports perspective, but it wasn’t a combat sports decision. This was strictly a business decision because the UFC needed a bigger fight to headline their August PPV in Houston.

Sound Off: Do you agree with the UFC’s decision to book an interim title fight in August?

Mets: Even when he ‘struggles’, Jacob deGrom dominates

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Even though the New York Mets lost 4-3 to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, it’s fair to say that Jacob deGrom, their ace, had another dominant start. The bulk of the damage against him came in a three-run first inning.

After that, he settled in, to put it lightly: he finished with the three runs allowed and five hits in seven strong innings, with no walks and 14 strikeouts. He even fanned eight consecutive batters at one point.

“When he got his poise back, he was who we know he is,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said of deGrom, per MLB.com. “Fourteen strikeouts in seven innings. This guy is the best pitcher in the game, no doubt.”

DeGrom had retired 37 straight hitters in the first inning, which is mind-blowing. But the Braves somehow managed to hit a triple, an RBI single, and a two-run homer, courtesy of Austin Riley.

“How did he hit that?!” deGrom asked his catcher James McCann, before slamming his glove into the dugout bench. The Mets’ ace had thrown Riley a fastball off the plate, and he went the other way and knocked it out of the park in impressive fashion.

The Mets’ star warned that first inning would be ‘all they’ll get’, and delivered

But the words deGrom said to his pitching coach Jeremy Hefner would mark the rest of his night: “That’s all they get.” And that’s all they got.

The Mets’ pitcher noticed that the Braves were hunting for his fastball, so he adjusted his strategy and used his secondaries more. It paid off.

Even when he ‘struggles’, he can adjust back and dominate. That’s deGrom.

“You guys know how he is,” Rojas said. “He gets upset when he gives up a run. And it’s not because of this year, because of the numbers that he’s had for the season that are historic. It’s just the way he is. He’s always been like that.”

In total, deGrom earned 27 whiffs, his top output since he had 29 back on April 23.

Making sense of PFF’s ranking of the Chicago Bears roster

bears, matt nagy

If you’ve been in tune with what’s going on with the Chicago Bears this offseason, much of the talk revolves around new quarterback Justin Fields, the decision to release CB Kyle Fuller, and whether or not the Bears defense can play at a high level heading into 2021 with edge rusher Khalil Mack leading the way.

Pro Football Focus released their annual roster rankings ahead of training camp and Chicago was ranked 23rd overall, ahead of teams such as Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, and Las Vegas Raiders. Chicago was also the third-ranked team in the NFC North. The Bears’ division rivals were ranked as follows: Green Bay Packers (sixth overall), Minnesota Vikings (ninth overall), and Detroit Lions (31st overall).

Three factors are analyzed for all 32 NFL franchises throughout the article: Biggest strength, biggest weakness, and X-factor. In Chicago’s context, biggest strength was Khalil Mack, biggest weakness was the decision to move on from Fuller, and x-factor was Fields.

Let’s breakdown whether or not each of the three points listed above in the article were accurate or not.

Biggest strength

Earlier this offseason, Bears GM Ryan Pace alluded to how Chicago’s strength on the roster is the defense. However, keep in mind this was before the release of Fuller. Mack is still a force to be dealt with, despite his stats over the last two seasons not reflecting how much of an impact he’s really had.

Besides just Mack, Chicago’s front seven is still a force to be dealt with. Returning in 2021 are names like Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Eddie Goldman, and Bilal Nichols, giving Chicago an opportunity to terrorize quarterbacks. Overall, PFF isn’t necessarily wrong when naming Mack a strength, however, it’s hard to ignore the rest of the Bears front seven when discussing what the biggest strength on the roster is.

Biggest weakness

Despite not directly stating that CB was a weakness for the Bears, the article implies that CB is a weakness. This is accurate. Chicago did rely on Fuller, a two-time Pro Bowler to hold the fort down, despite drafting a CB in round six for three consecutive years (Duke Shelley, 2019), Kindle Vildor (2020), and Thomas Graham Jr., (2021).

The presumptive starter opposite 2020 second-round pick Jaylon Johnson is expected to be veteran Desmond Trufant, who started six games for the Lions in 2020. Chicago must also figure out who the starting slot CB will be, with the franchise releasing veteran CB Buster Skrine this offseason.

X Factor

Fields was labeled as the x-factor for the Bears, however, the Bears should be focused on Fields development rather than winning games. Another x-factor to consider would be Chicago’s offensive line, which has been inconsistent over the last two seasons. Chicago made overhauling the offensive line a priority by drafting Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom, while retaining Germain Ifedi, and adding Elijah Wilkinson via free agency.

If Chicago’s offensive line plays well, there is a legitimate case to be made for running back David Montgomery to have 2000 yards from scrimmage and more consistent quarterback play from Fields and veteran Andy Dalton which should lead to increased production from Chicago’s wide receiver duo of Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney.

New York Yankees: Preview of the cross-town rival Mets series

Tonight at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees will face their cross-town rival New York Mets for the first time this season. Often called the subway series due to the closeness of both teams in the New York Market. Yankee ace Gerrit Cole had this to say about the series:

“I hope it will be a fun atmosphere, It’s nice that it’s happening over the weekend, get the kids out to the park. And hopefully it will be an electric atmosphere filled with a bunch of New York fans in general, and we’ll put on some good ballgames and hopefully play well.”

Which team plays well will be one of the storylines for the series. The Yankees are coming off a devasting loss to the Los Angeles Angels and have not played consistent ball. They are 4-6 in their last ten games. The Mets are also 4-6 but lead the NL East. They are coming off a one-run deficit against the Atlanta Braves. Luckily for the Yankees, they will not be facing Jacob deGrom in the series. Something to watch will be Gio Urshela and Francisco Lindor, who are best friends and will be playing together in the same game for the first time.

With these relatively evenly matched teams, the big story may be the impact of the weather on the games. As of this writing, there is a 75% chance of thunderstorms tonight throughout the game. Unfortunately, the weather for tomorrow’s matinee doesn’t look much better. So for this July 4th weekend series, mother nature’s fireworks may come into play.

Tonight, July 2, 7:25 pm:

Jordan Montgomery will start tonight’s game for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Montgomery is 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA, with 80 strikeouts. This will be “Monty’s” 16th start of the season. Montgomery has pitched well for the Yankees this year, and his stats are a bit deceiving. The Yankees have won 11 of his 15 starts.  He is coming off a loss to the Boston Red Sox when he went six innings, giving up three runs. He got no run support in the game.

Montgomery will face the Met’s Taijuan Walker, 3-3, with an ERA of 2.38, identical to Montys. Walker was a Yankee target in the offseason when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays; he ended up with the Mets. He is coming off a five-inning win over the Pittsburgh Pirates but lost his previous games against the Nationals when he gave up three runs in six innings. Brett Gardner has faced him once and shelled him with a home run. DJ LeMahieu has had the most appearances against him (20), hitting .300. The game will be televised on the WPIX and its affiliates, SNY, and MLBN out of market.

Saturday, July 3rd, 1:05 pm:

Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will start the Saturday matinee at the Stadium for the Yankees. He is 8-4 with an ERA of 2.66 and an incredible 129 strikeouts. Since the MLB crackdown on sticky stuff, his strikeouts have dropped dramatically. He has only 16 in his last 20 innings pitched. He has had 8 or more strikeouts in eight of his starts. He is coming off two consecutive losses, one to the Kansas City Royals and one to the Boston Red Sox.

Cole will face another pitcher that the Yankees were interested in. Marcus Stroman is 6-6 with an ERA of 2.45 with 105 strikeouts. Stroman has struggled with little run support in his games. The native New Yorker might be called the bad luck kid. He is coming off three straight losses while only giving up 4 earned runs combined. Presently Stroman is the shortest (5’7″) pitcher in the Major Leagues. The game will be televised on the YES Network and WPIX, and affiliates.

Sunday, July 4th, 7:08 pm:

The pitcher for the New York Yankees for the Sunday night game has not been announced, but it will likely be Michael King. Whoever the Yankee pitcher is, he will face the Met’s rookie Taylor Megill. Megill is 0-0 in two starts with an ERA of 4.82. He has never gone beyond the fifth inning, but the Met’s have won both of his starts. If tonight’s or Saturday’s game are postponed due to weather, there could be a day-night doubleheader. The game on Sunday night will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.