The Subway Series. The Battle of New York. The New York Yankees vs the New York Mets. This is the season that it seems so relevant again. Not since 2000, when these two teams faced off in the World Series, have we seen these two teams both contenders in the start of the season.
We all know that the Yankees made huge off season moves to bolster up their already proven roster. Adding the National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton was without a doubt the biggest move they made. This is a guy who hit 59 homers last season now teaming up with Aaron Judge who hit 52 home runs last season.
Then you have to add in Gary Sanchez who might be the best all-around hitter of the 3. He definitely flies under the radar a little bit because of Stanton and Judge hitting so many home runs last season, but Gary Sanchez hit .278 with 33 home runs and 90 RBI’s. That’s just about the best numbers from a catcher last season, not to mention he took home his fist Silver Slugger Award for catcher last year. Maybe Gary Sanchez being looked at as the 3rd best of the three will help him out because less pressure is placed on him to live up to expectations, but I do not think that he will under perform. I expect Gary Sanchez to be in the Silver Slugger conversation yet again this season.
When it comes to the pitching staff of the Yankees, it is not great. It really isn’t all that bad, but it could use another piece or two. Luis Severino is the bonafide ace of that team after posting a 14-6 record with a 2.98 ERA in his breakout season last year. So far to start the season he is 2-0 and has only given up 2 earned runs in 13 innings pitched.
The Yankees then turn to Masahiro Tanaka, who at times has been very very good, but has also been hit hard. Tanaka has been dealing with elbow problems for quite a while now and it would be amazing if he makes it through this season without missing any time. Every year it has been said since he partially tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in 2014, that any time now it will completely tear and he will need Tommy John surgery. It has yet to happen, but with every year, every inning, every pitch he throws, he is getting closer and closer to that moment. The Yankees have to continue to be careful with Tanaka.
Thor, DeGrominator, The Dark Knight. The three headed dragon of the New York Mets pitching staff. One of the best pitching staffs in the majors especially at the top of that rotation with Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom. Matt Harvey hasn’t quite been what he was in 2015 when he led the Mets to win the NL East and the National League pennant. If he can pitch somewhat similar to that season rather than his 2016 and 2017 seasons, the Mets can once again make a run.
Noah Syndergaard, the ace of the Mets, when healthy is a Cy Young candidate. This year should be no different. After missing a lot of time last season, he is back and healthy. Syndergaard is a fireballer, topping out his fastball at around 100mph. He has one of the best sliders in the game coming in at over 90mph with a tight break on it. It’s almost unfair when he throws that pitch.
The Mets made a lot of moves in the offseason to make them an legitimate contender this year. Signing Jay Bruce to a 3-year deal is the biggest and most impactful move they made. Bruce might be the most underrated players in baseball. He is a career .249 hitter with a WAR of 19.4 and a career OPS+ of 110, all very respectable numbers. His batting average is a little bit low, but in today’s game batting average is looked at less than OPS+.
Adding Todd Frazier for the next two years is also very big for the Mets. He is a local kid and is very comfortable in New York as we saw last season when he was with the Yankees after the trade deadline. Adrian Gonzalez is another big bat that they were able to acquire in free agency. Gonzalez has always been a consistent hitter but with the emergence of Cody Bellinger in LA, got pushed out of their lineup last season. His veteran presence will be very important in that Mets clubhouse.
On Friday’s Rob Dibble Show we talked about the Yankees and Mets throughout the show. Here is the first Dib’s Question of the Day where we brought up the Yankees and Red Sox and then the Mets being a team to watch for.
Kevin Kernan, columnist for the New York Post also joined the Rob Dibble Show on Friday to talk about both the Yankees and the Mets. You can give that a listen right here: