After a weekend full of rain in the northeast, the feeling of optimism is back on this lovely Monday. It’s officially the month of May, the sun has remembered how to come out, and both the Yankees and Mets are playing home games.
There are three games in total, to be exact. The Yankees will begin a three-game set in the Bronx against the Cleveland Guardians. As for the Mets, they’ll finally continue (and conclude) their series against the Atlanta Braves with a doubleheader at Citi Field.
Expectations for both New York teams heading in 2023 were sky-high. One month into the regular season, it’s not like those expectations have gone away, either. They have two of baseball’s most expensive payrolls with rosters expected to not just make the postseason, but to make a deep run toward the World Series.
There are still five months left in the marathon that is a 162-game MLB regular season. So, no — this is not time for anyone to panic. There’s a whole lotta ballgame left, as people like to say. This is more of an observation of how different things were at this same point in the 2022 campaign.
How the Yankees compare right now to 2022
In case people were thinking the American League East wouldn’t be a tough division to play in, the month of April begs to differ. The Tampa Bay Rays are the best team in baseball with a 23-6 record, with two other teams within 4.5 games of their pace.
Every single AL East squad is entering May with a winning record. Unfortunately for the Yankees, losing three straight series to finish April has them tied with the Boston Red Sox in the basement. They both own a 15-14 record. This is the first time the Bombers have finished April in last place since 2016.
If we rewind to May 1st, 2022, it was a much different story. The Yankees went 16-6 across their first 22 contests, which had them atop the AL East standings with a 1.5-game lead. They were also riding a nine-game winning streak at this time last year. At the moment, New York has lost three straight and is 3-7 in its last 10 games.
How the Mets compare right now to 2022
Depending on how the Mets’ doubleheader against the Braves goes on Monday, their standing in the National League East could look much different compared to right now. Prior to the games happening, though, the Amazins are 15-12 and are tied with the Miami Marlins for second place. They’re both three games behind the 18-9 Braves.
Manager Buck Showalter’s squad is 4-6 in its last 10 games, which also includes five losses in their last six. Within this rough patch was New York’s first four-game losing streak since September 2021. The offense has been inconsistent and the starting rotation has been hurt/ineffective, which doesn’t help things.
If we look back to this time last year, the Mets instead had a three-game lead as a first-place squad after posting a 16-7 record through their first 23 contests. In the 10 games leading up to this point, New York posted a 7-3 record.
What’s going on?
As I said before, there is no real reason to panic right now. Do the Yankees and the Mets both need to get their respective behinds in gear sooner rather than later? Well, yes — of course they do. But the season doesn’t finish at the end of April. It finishes at the end of September.
Both squads need to get a little healthier and have their main contributors back in the lineup/rotation consistently. That should hopefully happen for each New York baseball team in either the immediate or somewhat near future.
It’s just noteworthy how different we were feeling about both organizations at the start of May last year. Let’s hope the time starts to turn in short order.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.