The New York Mets and New York Yankees have an interesting week ahead of them as the final week of the first month of the 2023 campaign winds down. Let’s break down what’s in store for both New York outfits as the 2023 MLB campaign rolls into May.
How the Mets’ Week Shapes Up
After a day off on Monday, the Mets will return home for 7 games within the division, as a pair of National League East opponents make their way to Citi Field this week. The struggling Nationals (7 – 14 6.5 GB) will enter the fray on Tuesday for a 3-game set, and Atlanta Braves will visit Citi Field for a 4-game set before heading to Detroit for 3 games.
With the suspension of Max Scherzer, the Mets rotation is a complete disaster entering the week still without Justin Verlander, Carlos Carrasco, and Jose Quintana. That takes four starters out of the mix while Buck Showalter figures out how to navigate the beginning of the season.
Verlander is due back in early May as is Carrasco, so the pressure will ease early in the second month of the campaign, and Max will be back after serving his 10-game suspension for the pine tar incident against the Dodgers.
Max Scherzer was ejected (and suspended for 10 games) for getting caught with a foreign substance.
Yet he says the stickiness was just from sweat and rosin, and this video by Trevor Bauer seems to support that.
What am I missing?! pic.twitter.com/RFSrlV2V4Q
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) April 20, 2023
While the Mets get past that, there is no crying in baseball so they have carried on and things are working out just fine thus far. The only series the Mets have dropped came against Milwaukee to begin the season after taking 3 of 4 games from Miami.
Kodai Senda, Joey Lucchesi, and David Paterson have carried the rotation through Scherzer’s suspension and the Mets’ mounting injuries, although it hasn’t kept the Mets from being ranked 10th in the league only allowing 4.1 runs per game.
Pete Alonso has already stroked 10 rippers out of the park and the two-time Home Run Derby champ is on his way to making another appearance in the festivities this summer. The Polar Bear is roaring but the play of Brandon Nimmo has propelled the top of the Mets’ batting order after a slow start to the campaign.
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Nimmo signed a big 8-year deal worth over 162M bucks in the off-season and despite the early nerves, Brandon has been exactly what Showalter has needed to make up for the pitching woes. Nimmo is batting .368 despite coming into the season not in the best shape battling ankle and knee pain that stemmed from Spring Training.
The Mets will need the day off on Monday to travel having played the Sunday night ESPN game out in San Francisco, but a 3-game series against the Nats should provide a good springboard headed toward the series with the Braves. As usual, every Braves and Mets game will matter twice in the NL East standings as the two are within a half-game of each other on top of the division entering the week.
How the Yanks’ Week Shapes Up
The Yankees suffered their first series loss of the new season this weekend against the Blue Jays who took 2 of 3 games at Yankee Stadium over the weekend. While the Mets are dealing with their injury report, the Yankees are also without some key components coming into this week.
Giancarlo Stanton blew a hammy simply trying to turn a single into a double after not running hard out of the box from a ball off the left-field wall on April 15 against the Twins. Stanton will be out until mid-June, and Josh Donaldson also had a setback this week that landed him extended time on the IL. Donaldson was expected back early this past week but two more weeks were added to his stint instead.
After splitting their 4-game series back at Yankee Stadium on April 12 – 16, the Yankees will gear up and face the Twins for 3 games in Minnesota before heading to Texas for a 4-game set this week. The Twins arrive at Monday’s game as -140 favorites with a duel between Jhony Brito and Sonny Gray, although Minnesota has lost 6 of their last 8 games looking for any type of consistency at the moment.
At 12 – 10, the Twins have the AL Central Division lead entering the week a game up on Cleveland and 4 games ahead of Detroit. The Twins rank 21st in the league scoring a mere 4.19 runs per game but the defensive end of the field has been a strong positive for Minnesota thus far.
Minnesota ranks second in all of baseball in opponents OPS (.638), and third in runs allowed (3.63), and Sonny Gray is setting the tone in the Twins rotation this season. The reason the Yankees are underdogs on Monday is certainly that the line setters expect Gray to out-duel Brito, although Brito showed a lot of composure in his last start against the Angles.
Brito had gotten lit up for 7 ER in his previous start against the Twins, but he did only last 4 & 1/3 innings allowing only 1 earned run before being pulled in the 5th against the Angels. It may not go down as a quality start but the Yankees did, at least, go on to win 3 – 2 in extra innings.
Let me add that I don’t miss a pitch of any Yankee game at any time, and Sunday’s lineup presented zero threat to Kevin Gausman who loves pitching against the Yanks anyway. Kiner-Falefa in center field makes no sense at all, as he cannot cover the ground and his transition from SS has not been easy, to say the least. He is batting a dismal .176 which makes his presence in the lineup futile.
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Anthony Rizzo is the only Yankee player batting over .300, and the Judge has no one in the lineup behind him to give a pitcher reason to let him go deep on them. No one is unaware of the 62 bombs Aaron Judge blasted out of the park that won him the AL MVP, yet he still has 6 to his credit coming into the week.
Brito gets another crack at the Twins after getting hit pretty hard against them in early April, so it will be an interesting start to the week for the Yanks and Mets.