Who will have the better season, Mets or Yankees?
Yes folks, I know it’s very early in the season but it’s a valid question to be asked. The Yankees have been floundering the first few weeks of the season, sporting an ugly 6-7 record after having sky high expectations. In the meantime, their crosstown rival Mets have the best record in baseball at 10-1 and are in the midst of a nine game winning streak.
Like I said it’s still very early, but this is a large enough sample size to know that the Mets are going to be a competitive team for a long time. Injuries are always a question with the pitching staff, but new manager Mickey Calloway has created magic with the way he’s handled his pitchers so far. On the contrary, Aaron Boone has made an array of questionable decisions in his rookie managerial season. Over-using his bullpen, making some curious offensive replacements and not pulling his starters early enough have been just some of his mistakes three weeks into the season. Let’s take a deeper dive into which team will wind up with the better record.
Why the Mets will own Gotham
The Mets have been a bit of a surprise the in the early-going this season. They’ve made some impressive comebacks, pitched well in almost every start, and have a relatively sturdy bullpen. The additions of Todd Frazier and Adrian Gonzalez have been great as they’re much more productive than anyone could have imagined so far. On top of that, Frazier brings to the young Mets clubhouse a veteran leadership that they’ve lacked lately. He already has the Mets players doing a “salt and pepper” shake after each hit they get, similar to the thumbs down he started midway through last year’s Yankees’ season. He is the ultimate glue guy and any team would be happy to have him mentoring their young kids.
What was thought to be a weakness of the team is now a strength. The combination of A.J. Ramos and Jeryus Familia has been a nice surprise, and even Hansel Robles himself has looked steady after a disastrous spring training where he was sent down to AAA. Yoenis Cespedes has hit well, and the addition of Michael Conforto to the lineup is always welcoming. The young kid at short Amed Rosario has played like a grizzled vet this year and is showing the flashes of brilliance that the Mets saw when he was in the minors. Look for all of that to continue, at least in the short run.
Why the Yankees will re-take the concrete jungle
The Yankees were a pleasant surprise last season, coming within one game of making the World Series. They came up short, but a Yankees team that is usually always a favorite in the American League somehow found themselves as the lovable underdogs. This year is not the case, as the Yankees added National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to their already potent lineup and will bring up top prospect Gleyber Torres soon enough after the disappointing play of Tyler Wade. The faces are still the same from last year, with all five pitchers returning and most of their dangerous lineup returning to form.
They have lofty expectations and are not playing well right now, but water always finds its level. Stanton has been striking out at a historic pace. Gary Sanchez came into the series with the Boston Red Sox batting a hearty .056 and the bullpen has been as bad as a bullpen can be. All three of these entities will be just fine, as Stanton WAS the MVP last season, Sanchez is the best hitter on the team, and the bullpen is still the strength of the team no matter how bad they may have been to start the season. Guys like Didi Gregorius are taking an even bigger role while the big bats fizzle and having a young stud third baseman like Brandon Drury in the fold will mean that the Yankees’ lineup when healthy will be a very difficult one to get through top to bottom.
While it seems like these two teams are going in opposite directions, Mets fans always know in the back of their minds that the other shoe will drop eventually. Travis d’Arnaud has already torn his UCL this week, and more injuries are in the fold. This week marks the first time in franchise history that Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler all made consecutive starts. Four of those five starters are injury prone so eventually at least one of them will succumb to a serious injury. The hot bats that have fueled the Mets’ comebacks will cool as well. as Adrian Gonzalez is a notoriously bad post All-Star hitter and Yoenis Cespedes is a hamstring injury away from spending an extended period on the DL.
As for the Yankees, well things could not have started worse. Their manager is under siege by unruly fans who think the season is only 25 games long. Their best hitters have been historically bad, and their strong bullpen has struggled in pretty much every situation. They’ve already been hit with the injury bug, as Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, Jacoby Ellsbury, C.C. Sabathia, Brandon Drury and Greg Bird have all spent at least 10 days on the DL. The Yankees are too talented on paper to continue this downward trend and have already proven to be gamers come crunch time. As an unbiased party, the Yankees will wind up with a better record.
Yankees – 96 – 66
Mets – 92 – 70