NEW YORK, NY – As we hit the All-Star Break, the Yankees are Mets are both in first place after monster first halves (plus). It feels like a good time to ask… Which team is better? The Yankees vs Mets, a first half comparison.
The Yankees are 64-28, with the best record in baseball, and thirteen games in front in a division they weren’t expected to win. A bit of a stumble in the last week dropped them below a .700 winning percentage, but they head to the break feeling good after stomping on the Red Sox in their last two games.
The Mets are 58-35, with the second best record in the NL, and lead their division by two and a half games over the surging Braves. Though their lead has been cut, their is reason for optimism with ace Jacob deGrom’s return coming into focus on the horizon.
Let’s take a closer look.
The mighty Yankees lead the lead in runs, HRs (but they play in a small stadium, waaaa, here’s a tissue), RBI, walks, SLG, and OPS and they are second in OBP. Wow.
The Mets are a respectable 5th in runs and BA, 3rd in OBP and top 10 in a few others. But they lack power, as their middle of the pack SLG and OPS show.
Advantage: Yankees. Scoring runs is the name of the game, folks.
The Yankees’ pitching staff has given up the fewest runs, ranks second in BA and WHIP against, and have the third best ERA.
The Mets are 6th in ERA, have given up the fifth fewest runs, and are 5th and 7th in WHIP and BA against, respectively. The teams are tied for the league league in shutouts with 12.
Advantage: Yankees. I know deGrom and Scherzer haven’t been healthy, but we need to see it. The Yanks have given up the fewest runs.
I’m not going to waste anyone’s time talking about guys like Brandon Nimmo, Aaron Hicks, and Sterling Marte. Aaron Judge is the only outfielder that matters in this category.
Advantage: Yankees. Throw in Matt Carpenter, and it’s a monster advantage. That guy was like finding a $100 bill in your mother-in-law’s underwear. You sure don’t know why your hand is in there, but it worked out.
Jose Trevino has been a revelation for the Yankees and he gets bonus points for not being Gary Sanchez. The Mets’ catchers have been mediocre.
DHs and Bench
The Mets’ DH situation is a like a Red Lobster salad bar. It looks like there should be some good options, but none end up working out all that great.
On the other side is the mighty Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter.
This is the spot the Mets faithful might think they stack up better, with the fat guy at first base, and the overpaid SS. And sure, they’re both having solid years.
But the Yankees go five deep, Torres and LeMahieu having bounce back years, Rizzo having a big year, and Donaldson and IVF holding it down. The Mets have a couple of aces, but that loses to a full house of jacks over 8s, last I checked.
Advantage: Yankees. If they get rid of the ghost runner and decide extra inning games via Home Run Derby, the Mets would get the edge here.
The Mets starters have really pitched well considering Scherzer missed time and deGrom hasn’t pitched. With Scherzer hitting the ground running, this could be a top end group if Jake is Jake.
Though the Yankees’ rotation is not terrifying on paper, all five of their starters have ERA under 3.86, with four of five throwing at least 95 innings. The only exception is Severino with 86, and his injury is worrisome. But this has been a rock solid group.
Advantage: Yankees. I need to see it from deGrom.
Edwin Diaz rebirth and the Mets being undefeated when going into the 9th with a lead are surprising developments. Their pen ranks 9th in the league in ERA.
But the Yankees bullpen has been a strength with Michael King and Clay Holmes emerging as a dominant one two punch on the back end. The Yankees’ pen’s .289 average against trails only the Astros.
The Mets rank 12th in total runs saved by The Fielding Bible.
The biggest change from this year to last for the Yankees has been their improvement on D. They went from second to last with -41 runs saved to first with 55 runs saved. Jettisoning the defensively challenged Sanchez and the improved D at SS have been the keys for the Yankees. Judge has been smooth in center as well.
In a random survey of 500 New Yorkers, the most common response when asked to describe a typical Mets’ fan was “a whining hypocrite clown who complained about the Yankees buying championships for years, then cheered Cohen on when he started throwing money around like Patrick Ewing at a strip club.”
The same respondents said of the typical Yankees’ fan, “by far the most knowledgeable fan in all sports, not just baseball.”
There you have it. We give the edge in all categories to the Yankees. This has been a collective effort by the MtM staff and all columnists and management are in full agreement.
Comment below and let me know if you disagree. And check out Angry Ward re the All-Star Game.
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