Well, it’s been quite the year for baseball in New York City. As the curtain is starting to fall on Major League Baseball’s 2015 regular season, some interesting events are lining up for the Yankees and Mets.
For the Mets, it has truly been a “Tale of Two Citis.” And yes, the typo is, in fact, on purpose. Citi Field has seen some of the best baseball it has ever seen. At the time of publication, the Mets were six and half games up in first place with 12 games left to play, so it seems highly likely that Mets fans will be enjoying some playoff baseball for the first time since 2006, and Citi Field will be selling its first ever postseason ballpark franks.
For the Bronx Bombers, it’s the same city but a different tale. They find themselves three and a half games out of first place, but four games up as the first wild card. The Yanks are not playing bad ball. The club is fifteen games above .500, but the powerhouse Blue Jays make it hard to gain ground. It isn’t impossible for the Yankees to snatch a division title, but their fate is partly up to Toronto.
What happens in the last two weeks of play may or may not produce some outcomes that either team has not seen in several years. Everything is speculation, but speculating is one of the most entertaining things a fan can do.
If the Bombers fail to capture the AL East title and either drop out of wild card contention or lose in the one-game wild card playoff, it would be the third straight season of missing the playoffs. The last time that happened was from 1982-1984.
Though the team then continued to fall short of the postseason until 1994, 1984 is technically the last time the organization had a three-peat of postseason absences coming off a year in which they participated in fall ball. I personally would not count the Yankees out of wild card contention given their current lead, but anything is possible in a one-game playoff.
The reasons for the Mets’ surging season and the Yankees’ average season are up in the air. In my opinion, the Bombers have been streaky, going on stretches of wins and losses while the Mets, for the most part, have been relatively consistent. In addition, trades played a large role in the Mets’ above average season. Yoenis Cespedes helped bolster the team from Queens.
The Yankees were a bit quiet on that front, but did refuse to trade Greg Bird and Luis Severino, which was a good decision given the rookies’ contributions to the team.
Statistically speaking without any partiality, the Mets have everything to gain from their great season, and the Yankees risk not living up to the team they were in the late ’90s and ’00s.
The fact of the matter is that both New York teams need to finish the season in a winning fashion and will need to muster up an even greater level of play in the playoffs if they hope to fend off teams like the AL’s Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, or the NL’s St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. The stage is set. The rest will be determined by the players.