As the New York Yankees and New York Mets enter play today, there’s one huge thing these two teams have in common: they both have sole possession of first place in their respective divisions. And with the Yankees and Mets both in first place, it means there’s meaningful baseball to be played over the next two months.
The Yankees stood pat during the trade deadline but have found a way to internally fill the holes their team needed. The Yankees have a starting pitching issue, so they called up Luis Severino (who was absolutely dominating in Triple-A). And for outfield depth (with occasional play at first base), they traded for Dustin Ackley and designated Garrett Jones for assignment. Even without the acquisitions, the Yankees were able to quickly fill major holes relatively quickly and all three of fill-in’s did their jobs.
1) When Andrew Miller went down, the Yankees made Dellin Betances the closer.
2) When Jacoby Ellsbury suffered an injury, Brett Gardner was placed in the leadoff spot.
3) When Ivan Nova was out for the beginning of the season, Adam Warren was the fifth starter.
While the Yankees were able to fill the holes internally, the Mets needed to make certain trades in order to bolster their lineup. By the trade deadline, they considered themselves contenders which prompted them to trade for Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Yoenis Cespedes–without trading away one of their young starters in Zack Wheeler. It also helps the Mets have gotten production from Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores over the course of a week. Flores’s production comes just a week after he was almost traded for Carlos Gomez.
The Yankees and Mets made changes to their team, although the approach both teams took were different. Regardless, both New York teams look poised to punch their tickets to the postseason, which would be the first time both teams would make the playoffs together since 2006. The three game series between the Yankees and Mets in September looked as if it was going to be only one team fighting for a postseason spot. But if this season continues to shape up the way it has for the Yankees and Mets, then both teams will be fighting for something this September, which will make the series at Citi Field a little more interesting.