It’s hard to get.
But let’s play the time travel game. Let’s move on to April 7, before we roll out the first pitch of the season.
Imagine being tasked at that point with best-case scenarios for the New York teams entering their first Subway Series meeting on July 26.
Will it be better than reality? Would he be better than the Yankees with the best MLS record and doing secretarial work in Belmont against what was expected to be the best MLS division?
Will he be better than the Mets, knowing that they will be without Jacob Degrom for at least two months, have the second-best record in the National League, and so far, beat defending champion Braves in the NL East?
The Yankees and Mets arrive with two of the four best records in the majors and two of the best cases for championship reviews.
However, the perspective is difficult, in part because New York clubs, by playing them, raised expectations. They changed the calculation of probabilities. They can no longer win the championship in theory. Expectations are no longer. It is no longer a dream. Projection Systems now holds nearly 60 percent of the season’s information, and only one sample: Baseball reference has the Yankees as the top championship and the Mets fourth. The Vangraves have the third Mets and the Yankees fifth. The baseball bulletin has the Yankees in second place and the Mets fourth.
The Subway series starting Tuesday doesn’t have to be oversold as a potential World Championship preview. These are two of the best specialty teams.
However, what is this annoying feeling? Both teams are swinging now. Is this just a normal dip even in a special season? Or is it more than that? Is it possible that the best teams New York will play this year have already happened in the first half? Are the Mets about to reenact the second half of the swoon that opened the door last year for the brave to win an NL East race and a world championship? Are the Yankees staring again at being too good, but not great enough to star AL in a classic fall?
New York clubs will face each other at Citi Field a week after the trade deadline and with both teams feeling the urgency of reforming, promoting or simply motivating the current team with action. And they’re just the kind of organization – with 60 percent of seasonal information now – to see themselves as heavyweights and push forward hard after promotions.
The Mets are already getting started with the acquisition of Daniel Vogelbach to try to address the lack of power, in general, and the specific sad situation of the hitter in particular. It won’t end there. They’re still looking for another bat and a loyalist or two. Eliminate Edwin Diaz’s 1.60 ERA, .181 strike rate and 51% strike rate and the Met Bullpen has a 3.79 ERA, .231 strike rate and 24.4 strike rate. this is good. Mets need better than fine.
They will also inquire about Juan Soto, but perhaps their best outcome is that Soto will miss Washington’s last nine games against the Mets, given that the national team has enough inspirational candidates to avoid being traded within the division.
What the Mets can hope for is that DeGrum is present for those competitions, which begin with three games next week in Washington. His disappearance last July coincided with the Mets’ meltdown. His entire presence would go a long way in strengthening the Mets to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and win the NL East for the first time since 2015.
The Yankees had to collapse epic to not win just the second division title in a decade. But they have bigger aspirations. They haven’t won a championship since 2009, which feels like in the Yankee years since, say, 1986.
They are in Soto. They are in Cincinnati ace Lewis Castillo. GM Yankees Brian Cashman is usually more intense in the middle of the season than someone who goes to the top of the market. But if you look at the Yanks’ Western doppelgänger, the Dodgers have shown a willingness in recent years to go overboard on trade deadlines with Manny Machado, Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. This should be the Yankee Way now, too.
They can use at least one meaningful upgrade in each class – hitter (especially a defensive player), beginner and loyal. Chad Green and Michael King’s season-long loss to the Swiss Army Knife threw a lot of power into something less, especially if Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Loaisiga never corrected and/or Zack Britton never recovered well after Tommy John’s surgery.
The Yankees and Mets appeared on each other’s radar for the first time in 2022 in a better shape than imagined. However, it seems that the best of both is still needed.