Will the Mets win the NL East? Are the Yankees still in the running? We are debating the Subway series, Round 1

the New York food have the weakest offense in major league baseball in 2021, but in part thanks to underachieving division rivals and a historic run of their ace, Jacob of Grom, they entered in July in first place in the East of NL.

the New York Yankees? They too have spent much of the season among the best performing teams in the game. And although they started this month with a record winning record despite that, they have also fought the Toronto Blue Jays for third place in the AL East instead of hanging out at the top of the division with the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, as they were to do this year. As the trade deadline approached, it put pressure on their managing director, Brian Cashman, who admitted last week: “We suck right now.”

With the two teams meeting on Sunday Night Baseball (7 ET on ESPN; Statcast edition on ESPN2) in an Independence Day Subway series showdown, we asked ESPN baseball writers Joon Lee and Marly Rivera to comment on the state of the big league of the Big Apple clubs. What have we seen so far, what could happen at the trade deadline – and how far can these teams finally go?

How would you rate the Mets season so far?

Lee: B. The Mets finished June in first place, but given the team’s ups and downs this season, I’m not very confident they’ll be there at the end of September. Francisco lindor sounded like a shell of himself in Cleveland in his introduction to New York fans. For the Mets to win the division, their offense will need a lot more top-to-bottom consistency.

Rivera: B-less. The Mets’ 2021 season has been inconsistent. But luckily for any team aspiring to win the NL East, the inconsistency has plagued the entire division. Steve Cohen’s deep pockets have helped the Mets build one of the most comprehensive lineups – on paper – in recent franchise history. While this offense was ravaged by inconsistencies and injuries, the pitching more than made up for that. The most important thing for the Mets is that they have become again an organization built on strong starting pitchers.

How do you rate the Yankees’ season so far?

Lee: C-less, but decreasing day by day. This team reminds me a lot of the 2019 Boston Red Sox, a team (coming out of a World Series championship) that was really talented on paper, but when you watched them on the pitch, something just seemed like. The Yankees regularly make mistakes on fundamentals, whether it’s defensively or basics. General manager Brian Cashman bluntly rated the team as “as bad as it gets,” and he might be running out of time to get out of his hole. The 2021 Yankees seem stuck in one of the most feared places for a baseball team – a .500 team that inspires hope one week and frustration the following week.

Rivera: C-less. The Yankees had plenty of question marks heading into the 2021 season, but none of them have ever had to do with their offense. A range that includes Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu should never have difficulty scoring. However, the races were essential for the Bombers, who did not deserve the nickname. The Yankees are a slow, right-handed, powerful (painful) team designed to do one thing. And they’re not doing that thing well right now. Surprisingly enough, the “Gerrit cole and the rest “the hodgepodge rotation did as well as you might expect after the Corey kluber injury and continues to be supported by one of the best relief corps in the game, despite recent injuries and struggles.

Which players could the Mets target at the trade deadline to keep pace in eastern NL?

Lee: The Mets may need some help from the pitching side as the return of Carlos Carrasco remains unclear and that there have been delays in the rehabilitation process of Noah syndergaard of Tommy John surgery. Maybe someone like Colorado Rockies Entrance Jon gray might project as an adjustment. A more ambitious acquisition could be a player like José Berrios from the Minnesota Twins, who still has one year of arbitration eligibility after the 2021 season.

Rivera: The Mets are sorely lacking in power. A versatile player with a solid bat would reinforce a formation that has fallen behind in most offensive categories, and a player like Marte kettle, March starling or Gregory Polanco might do the trick. The Mets could also be weak buyers on the pitching side, with Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco both suffering setbacks on their return from injury. The Mets are expected to be involved in many of the starting pitcher’s most agitated names, such as Detroit. Matthew Boyd and Minnesota Michael pineda.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in the hot seat in New York. Do you expect him to splash on the trade deadline?

Lee: I’m not sure I agree that Brian Cashman is in the hot seat in New York. Firing Cashman shortly after being hailed as one of the game’s smartest GMs in recent years, with a resume of four World Series titles, seems like an overreaction. That being said, time is running out for the Yankees to do something to improve now as they are even further behind the Rays and Red Sox in the division standings. I’m not sure any move completely changes the outlook for this team, who currently have so many little leaks in their foundations that a single trade for a pitcher or another bat feels like it’s putting a fix to a problem. most important.

Rivera: As owner Hal Steinbrenner told us on Thursday, the Yankees still have full confidence in Cashman, the team’s general manager since 1998. When it came to blame for their poor season, Steinbrenner went straight to the point. finger his shelter, not the manager Aaron Boone his coaching team but the players. Steinbrenner has been very blunt in naming the players currently on the squad as those who need to pull themselves together. If the Yankees miss the playoffs, Boone may not lead the club next year, but I expect Cashman to at least complete his five-year contract extension, which will run until the season. 2022. And, with an ABC year approaching, there’s no one Steinbrenner would rather have by his side than the man he still considers one of the best in the game.

Which New York team will go further in October?

Lee: I’m going to go with the Mets, mainly because I think they have a much better chance of making the playoffs. I’m still not convinced either New York team qualifies for the playoffs, given the inconsistency across the NL East. If the Braves, Phillies or Nationals get into a hot streak, they could start to create space with the rest of the division. The mountain the Yankees must climb to make the playoffs is getting steeper by the day, given that they are also neck and neck with the Blue Jays in the standings and the Red Sox and Rays have been very constant.

Rivera: Reluctantly, I will choose the Yankees. If the Yankees strengthen their outfield and / or start pitching on the trade deadline and manage to get Luis Severino and Corey Kluber back, they’ll have a shot at qualifying for the playoffs as one of four “imperfect AL East teams,” as Red Sox manager Alex Cora described it last week. Cora was referring to the fact that no team in the division is head and shoulders above the rest. AL East is like a “Survivor” season. I believe the Yankees will survive on pure talent (and benefit from not having to face one of the best in the game in Tyler glasnow). And if we subscribe to this theory, no other formation is more “due” than that of the Yanks. Let’s be clear, I believe the Mets will make the playoffs. I just don’t think they’ll go as far as the Championship Series, which I believe the Yankees can reach in what will likely be a much weaker American League playoff field.

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