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Subway Series Renewed

The New York Mets won the Johan Santana sweepstakes in the offseason, and now they're eager to show the Yankees what they're missing.

The Mets' new ace looks to improve on his strong numbers against the Yankees when he takes the mound Friday to open the three-game Subway Series at Yankee Stadium.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made NY Mets -135 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 52% of bets for this game have been placed on NY Mets -135 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

The Mets (20-19) acquired Santana from Minnesota for four prospects in February and signed him to a six-year, $137.5 million contract, hoping he would become the anchor of their rotation. So far, the left-hander hasn't disappointed, going 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in eight starts.

The Yankees (20-22) were on the verge of acquiring Santana but pulled out of talks in December, opting to hang on to the young players that would have gone to the Twins. Now, they'll have to contend with the two-time Cy Young Award winner as a member of their crosstown rivals.

"You face a lot of good pitchers all year long," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's one of the best in baseball. That doesn't mean that you can't score runs. You've got to take advantage of your opportunities."

Santana is 16-4 with a 2.27 ERA in 35 interleague appearances, including 24 starts. That ERA is the lowest among pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings in interleague play.

Santana has also fared well against the Yankees, going 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in eight appearances, including five starts - his best ERA against any AL team. He's 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in four outings at Yankee Stadium.

Santana gave up three runs and a career high-tying 10 hits in six innings of a 12-6 win in the first game of a doubleheader with Cincinnati on Saturday. He threw 116 pitches, and the Mets decided to move him back a day to give him extra rest.

"It's always good to get an extra day," Santana said. "I have a philosophy. I got to do my job no matter who I'm facing or who the team is."

The Mets could use a big game from their new ace. They dropped three of four to last-place Washington, including Thursday's 1-0 loss, and are coming off a 3-4 homestand that included a series against another last-place team, the Reds.

"We're too good of a team to be as inconsistent as we are right now," third baseman David Wright told the Mets' official Web site. "So hopefully we'll go out there and win a series at Yankee Stadium, and that will give us the momentum to springboard us back into divisional play."

The Yankees also need a boost. They dropped three of four at Tampa Bay, including Thursday's 5-2 defeat, and are mired in last place in the AL East.

The Yankees, losers of six of nine, are struggling offensively with Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada on the disabled list. They managed just six runs in the four games against the Rays, only two off starters.

Rodriguez ranks first all-time with 221 interleague hits, behind teammate Derek Jeter's 254, and just ahead of Johnny Damon's 220.

"We're much better than this. We can't start blaming injuries. It's part of the game," Damon said. "We just have to deal with it, and we haven't dealt with it the right way."

The Yankees will hand the ball to Darrell Rasner (2-0, 3.00), who's looking to win for the third time in as many starts since being called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 4. He won 5-2 at Detroit on Saturday, yielding two runs in six innings.

"He's been a shot in the arm for us," Girardi said. "No one says you have to be fancy or overpowering. He's figured out how to use his stuff and he's done it effectively."

Rasner started against the Mets on May 19 at Shea Stadium, but gave up two runs without recording an out and left when he was hit on the pitching hand with a comebacker. The injury landed him on the 60-day DL with a broken right index finger and ended his season.

This time, Rasner will have to contend with Santana.

"I can't worry about who the pitcher is," Rasner said. "I'm not hitting against him, luckily for myself."

The Yankees own the best interleague record in baseball at 113-79 and are 35-25 against the Mets, who are 91-90 in interleague play. The teams split their six games in 2007, with each winning twice at home. Bet this game.

Here are some top trends for today's matchup:

- SANTANA is 4-1 when starting against NY YANKEES with an ERA of 2.77 and a WHIP of 1.250.

- NY YANKEES are 77-71 (-49.6 Units) against the money line in home games in May games since 1997.

Get real live customizable updates, public betting info from 6 online sports books, archived public betting info and much more by clicking here.

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