Both New York baseball teams have been fixtures atop the standings this season. The Mets are 78-44 and hold a four-game lead in the NL East despite the Braves having been on a surge since early June. The Mets have been in first place every day except one this season, back when they were 3-2 and a half-game out. The Yankees are 74-48 and have held first place in the AL East since April 27. They at one point held a 15 1/2-game lead. They've fallen on tough times the last month-plus, but they still have an eight-game lead.
The two teams are set to square off Monday and Tuesday in their second and final regular season series in 2022. New Yorkers and TV executives might start to wonder if this is a World Series preview. It would be the second "Subway Series," after 2000.
Of course, the Mets have to contend with the Braves in their division and possibly the mighty Dodgers in the NLCS. The Yankees probably are going to have to finally learn how to beat the Astros, if they are even able to get to them.
It's obviously an incredibly difficult path for either team to win the World Series, but I've been tasked with seeing which one I'd rather wager on.
Odds to win the World Series
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
- Dodgers +350
- Astros +400
- Yankees +450
- Mets +475
- Braves +1100
I listed the top five teams just for a point of reference, but the task here is to see if the Mets or Yankees would be a better pick at this point.
The case for the Yankees
The Bronx Bombers are living up to that moniker this season, leading the league in home runs and runs scored. Giancarlo Stanton is on his way back from injury and, when healthy, the Yankees can flash a seriously intimidating lineup with Andrew Benintendi and D.J. LeMahieu serving as table-setters (likely with one in the nine-hole and the other leading off) for Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Stanton, Gleyber Torres and Josh Donaldson. It's the type of lineup that could put up a few crooked numbers per game in the playoffs and we've seen three-run homers turn series around many times.
Assuming the Yankees get Luis Severino back and find a way to get Frankie Montas on track, the playoff rotation with Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Montas and Severino has great potential. Or maybe the Yankees use Jameson Taillon in a rotation spot and let Severino do his thing in relief.
The bullpen has been a problem for weeks, but you can squint your way to a dominant setup in the playoffs. Let's say Clay Holmes, Aroldis Chapman, Wandy Peralta, Scott Effross, Lou Trivino, Ron Marinaccio and Severino are all at their best. That would give Aaron Boone an arsenal with a wide variety of different types of arms.
Simply put, the best version of the Yankees is a team that can do serious playoff damage and bring home the title.
Of course, they haven't been their best version for around six weeks now.
The case for the Mets
Chris Bassitt is an All-Star-caliber pitcher who has finished in the top-10 of Cy Young voting twice. He's 7-3 with a 2.11 ERA in his last 11 starts and he's 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four August starts.
He would be the Mets' No. 3 starter in a playoff series, after uber-elite aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Maybe Carlos Carrasco returns from his injury in time to be the No. 4 or maybe it's Taijuan Walker. Regardless, the Mets are likely to have the best playoff rotation.
Oh, and at the back end of the bullpen awaits the best closer in baseball, Edwin Díaz. He's now 28 for 31 in save chances with a 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 97 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings.
The Mets also boast a strong lineup with superstars Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor serving as the backbone. Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo are all having very good seasons. Mark Canha is as good as lower-third hitters get. Daniel Vogelbach has been a revelation at DH, too.
It always comes down to who plays well when it matters most, but in looking at the Mets, they have all the ingredients to win it all. They have two aces and the playoff rotation will likely be full of All-Stars. They have a nearly automatic closer. They have a deep offense that doesn't rely on the longball while also being able to come through with clutch, game-changing bombs.
I'm bullish on the Mets.
I'm going with the Mets and it wasn't a difficult choice. The Dodgers are the only team I'd take before the Mets right now and I'm not averse to taking the Mets over the Dodgers. This is the most complete Mets team in a long time.