Major League Baseball is 40% of the way through its schedule, and two teams in the biggest market, New York, are struggling.
The Mets and Yankees are the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in terms of opening payroll this season. The Mets topped $300 million for the first time in Major League Baseball history with $353.5 million, while the Yankees topped $250 million for the second straight year with $277 million.
But the numbers aren’t looking good. As of Dec. 12, the Mets are 31-35 and in fourth place in the NL East. They’re a whopping 9.5 games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves. They are also three games behind the third-place Milwaukee Brewers in the wild card standings.토토사이트
The Yankees are in third place in the AL East with a 38-29 record. They’re seven games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild card. They’re still in better shape than the Mets. According to Fangraphs’ playoff odds, the Yankees have a 69.7% chance of winning the division (6.3% to win the division and 63.4% to win the wild card) and the Mets have a 33.9% chance (2.0% to win the division and 31.9% to win the wild card). While the Yankees are more likely to make it to fall ball, the Mets are much more pessimistic.
The statistics show that the Mets are much more stressed than the Yankees.
New York Mets’ Pete Alonso reacts after being hit on the wrist by a Charlie Morton pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, Monday, Aug. 8, 2018. AP
Miami Marlins’ Jorge Soler celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago on Wednesday. AFP
Coincidentally, both teams are missing their best hitters to injury, making it difficult for them to break through.
First, the Yankees placed Aaron Judge on the 10-day disabled list on May 5 with a bruised big toe on his right foot. He is technically eligible to return on the 15th, but it’s unclear if he will return this week or even this month. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Wednesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, “It’s better yesterday than it was, better today than yesterday. The swelling has gone down a lot,” Boone said before the game, but he was unable to give a timetable for his return.
“The swelling needs to go down further before an accurate diagnosis of the injury can be made,” the New York Post reported, adding that he is “unlikely to return this week.
Judge suffered the toe contusion and ligament damage when he crashed into the fence netting after catching a J.D. Martinez fly ball against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 4. It’s been a week since the swelling went down, so it’s hard to say how much longer he’ll need to recover.
The Mets are even worse off. Pete Alonso, the major league home run leader, will miss at least three to four weeks. He was placed on the IL on the 10th with a left wrist contusion and sprain. He was hit hard on the left wrist by a Charlie Morton pitch on Aug. 8 against Atlanta. The injury came a day after he taunted Bryce Elder with “throw me another one” after robbing him of a home run the day before.
Judge and Alonso are the leading home run hitters in both leagues. Judge hit 62 home runs last year, the most in a single season in the AL. This season, he returned from an 11-day absence in late April with a hip injury and exploded for 19 homers to lead the AL in home runs.
Alonso, who hit a career-high 53 homers in 2019, hit 40 last year and leads both leagues with 22 this season. Both players have fallen behind in the home run race.
As of today, Jersey leads the AL with Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels (18) and Jordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros (17), while in the NL, Jorge Soler of the Miami Marlins (19) is second and Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Matt Olson of Atlanta are tied for third with 18 home runs.
I don’t see anyone breaking out like Jeter did last year. Still, if you want a home run title, this is the season to go for it.
While the home run race is a fan favorite, the Yankees and Mets desperately need Judge and Alonso back, respectively. As the New York Post put it, “The Yankees without Judge are the Mets without Alonso,” and “these are just two teams struggling to figure out how to win without their signature hitters.