Jonathon Niese was standing in the Mets clubhouse before last night’s game against the Braves wearing a T-shirt that bore a picture and the letters JV and the number 1.

The picture was of Jordany Valdespin about to stomp on home plate while his teammates waited to celebrate what looked like a game-winning home run.

But Niese was talking about the Subway Series against the Yankees that begins tonight when he’ll get the start against Phil Hughes. The “JV” across Niese’s chest could have stood for junior varsity, which is about how the Mets stack up against the Yankees going into the four-game set where the first two will be played at Citi Field before moving to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Normally, there’s a certain energy surrounding the Subways Series to see which team can prevail and make their fan base proud. But this year’s edition is truly the JV against the Varsity with the Mets mired in a dreadful season while the Yankees have overcome a series of injuries to stay in contention in the AL East.