Today, we bring you a spirited debate between our two baseball writers, Mike (Mets) and Andrew (Yankees), arguing why their team has a better shot at the playoffs! So good, it makes the home page of OJT!
Mike (Mets): The Mets are headed for the postseason. Sandy Alderson is in the process of cloning Matt Harvey, plus we already traded Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner for fifteen grains of rice and an apple core.
Andrew (Yankees): Matt Harvey may be great, but the Yankees have a stellar pitching staff from top to bottom. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-6; 2.51 ERA) and RHP Ivan Nova (4-4, 3.41 ERA) have been superb, and RHP Mariano Rivera (33/35 in save chances) is his old self at the end of games even after he missed most of last season with an ACL tear.
And if A-Roid injects enough steroids in his butt maybe he'll return to his MVP days, plus you got Pettitte juicing it up like Juicy Fruit. And of course if that doesn't work the Yankees can take another loan from Goldman Sachs and buy the best free agents money can buy.
A-Rod isn't going to return to his MVP days, and he may not even return to this team, but the acquisition of Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs on Friday gives the Bombers some power. Soriano has eight homers this month, the most in the majors. And money aside, the Yankees are only four games out of a playoff spot; the Mets are 10.5 games back.
The Yankees have enough old, washed up players to fill a retirement home, they will all be on the DL by mid-August. The Mets are a young, healthy squad, and with Juan Lagares catching everything that falls out of the sky in centerfield we can't lose.
The Yankees have already used 46 players, a franchise record through this point in the season, yet they are still in the race. Injuries are unlikely to hinder their chances more than they already have. The Mets haven't shown an ability to play well through an entire second half in ages. It may be only a matter of time until the players tune Terry Collins out, like they did last season when they finished 74-88 after holding a solid 46-41 record at the All-Star break.
Terry Collins is a senile old man, he is not the reason the Mets have brought themselves above being double digit games under .500. Our players have heart, the young ones are hungry and, hate it or love it, the underdogs will be on top, one day. Your division is competitive.
More after the jump...
You're correct on the strength of the divisions. The NL East is weak with the Braves decimated by injuries and the Phillies and Nationals playing inconsistent baseball. Still, the teams in the AL East also have question marks. The Orioles' starting rotation is suspect, the Red Sox have injury concerns with their pitching staff—namely RHP Clay Buchholz and LHP Jon Lester—and the Rays' rotation has been inconsistent. The Yankees have many flaws, but so does their competition.
The Yankees have too many Minor League players to make a run. They are going to have to make more trades than that Soriano deal. God forbid general manager Sandy Alderson ever makes a deal before the trade deadline, he didn’t do anything last year when the Mets actually had a winning record.
The Yankees undoubtedly don't have the greatest talent, but they're still in contention. Though they haven't hit much, they have gotten big hits on occasion. 3B Brent Lillibridge recorded two game-winning hits during the team’s recent four game series at Texas. Furthermore, both SS Eduardo Nunez and C Austin Romine have begun to heat up offensively.
Daniel Murphy is heating up in the major way, David Wright is better than everyone who has played third base on the Yankees combined and the prospect of young arms on the Mets is brighter than the sun. They are a corner outfield power bat and halfway decent bullpen away from contending. Well, they may need a new shortstop and first baseman too, but hey, maybe Ike Davis will somehow becoming a beast again and Ruben Tejada will stop airmailing his throw to first.
Can't argue with those points; the Yankees have gotten terrible production out of their third basemen, whether it be David Adams, Jayson Nix, or Luis Cruz, this season. The Mets do have great young pitching, but can Harvey and RHP Zack Wheeler make it through the rest of the season effectively?
I have no doubt about Harvey, Wheeler is learning on to go, but if Wheeler can pitch to the potential he has shown and Gee and Hefner can stop getting lit up, maybe the Mets can at least catch the Wild Card, or more reasonably be only 6 games away from it to give Mets diehards some faith. The Mets are now in a six-man rotation so that Harvey and Wheeler don’t exceed their innings limits.
The Mets are further back in the Wild Card race than they are in the NL East chase, and both the Reds and the Pirates—the two teams the Mets are currently chasing for a Wild Card spot—have more talent.
The Mets are just praying the Pirates choke like they did last season, all it takes is a couple of sweeps and everyone else failing like dominoes. They just need an opportunity against these top teams in the postseason. Who knows? Maybe Omar Quintanilla will start hitting tap measure shots under the spotlight.
True, and the Yankees are closer to a postseason spot than the Mets, so the odds are better for them catching the teams in front of them.
It's not fair, the Yankees are able to make moves like trade for Soriano because they are filthy rich. If the Mets had fat stacks like that they would be multiple games ahead of the rest of the division.
Well, that's baseball!