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Top stats to know: Mets vs. Yankees

4/26/2015

The first Subway Series of the season ends when the New York Mets face the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Sunday Night Baseball.

Here are some of the statistical storylines the broadcast crew of Dan Shulman, Curt Schilling and John Kruk will likely be talking about starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.

Both teams are at least tied for first place in their respective divisions, and the Elias Sports Bureau says this is the first time the teams will meet when that is the case. The Mets have not been in first place at the time of a Subway Series since 2007.

The Mets are 14-4, tied for the best 18-game start in franchise history. The only other time they started 14-4 was 1986, when they won the World Series.

The Mets have won seven of the past 10 meetings with the Yankees.

Mets’ Duda connecting on breaking balls in 2015

First baseman Lucas Duda is seeing the same amount of fastballs from left-handers as he did last season, but he's not missing breaking balls as frequently this season. He has missed 22 percent of his swings against breaking balls from left-handers this season compared to 53 percent last season.

Duda is swinging at these pitches more often (43 percent this season, 31 percent last season).

Defensively, the Mets have benefited from Juan Lagares’ range. He has made the catch on 190 plays out of his zone the past three seasons, third most in the majors among center fielders behind Leonys Martin and Carlos Gomez. (A center fielder's zone is where at least 50 percent of center fielders make the catch.)

Fastball betrays Yankees starter Eovaldi

Nathan Eovaldi’s fastball has averaged 95.3 mph in his career as a starter. Opponents are hitting .285 against him in his starts when an at-bat ends with his fastball. Last season, the major league average was .252 in at-bats ending with a 95-plus mph fastball.

Eovaldi gets strikeouts in 12 percent of at-bats ending with his fastball, compared with the 20 percent rate across all the majors last season in at-bats ending with a 95-plus fastball.

In at-bats that end on a fastball when Eovaldi is behind in the count, opponents hit .353 and slug .537 against him, which is in line with the major league averages for that situation.

The real trouble is when Eovaldi is ahead in the count. When an at-bat ends on a fastball when he’s ahead in the count, opponents hit .226 and slug .279. The major league averages last season for 95-plus fastballs in this situation were .177 and .248.

Among pitchers who have made 80 or more starts since 2011, Eovaldi has the second-lowest average run support in the majors (3.38 runs per game).

Yankees' bullpen staying busy

The Yankees' bullpen ranks seventh in innings pitched and tied for second in innings pitched per game (63 innings, 3 2/3 innings per game).

The Yankees had 13 games in which they needed at least seven outs from their bullpen.

Rodriguez’s long balls going a long way

Alex Rodriguez has hit four home runs this season and is two home runs from matching Willie Mays (660) for fourth on the all-time list.

The average true distance of Rodriguez’s home runs, as calculated by ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, is 424.8 feet. That’s second-farthest among the 62 players with at least three home runs (Edwin Encarnacion, 429.5 feet).