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  • Paul Semendinger

Who Is Better Right Now? Mets vs Yankees

by Paul Semendinger

December 12, 2022

***

I upset some people yesterday when I pointed out the fact that the Mets are going for it, blowing past the luxury tax penalties in order to build a team to compete for the World Series in 2023.


The Yankees might do this. I hope they do. But, to date, they have not. The Yankees are still being cautious, and until they prove otherwise, seem, as they have been for many years, intimidated by the luxury tax.


In a comment on my article yesterday, the idea came up that the 2023 Yankees look better on paper than the Mets do. I can't agree. The Mets, absolutely look better.


Let's take a quick look at the two teams, position-by-position. I will use the 2022 stats to make each quick comparison...


First Base:

Anthony Rizzo: 2.3 bWAR, 131 OPS+, .224/32/75

Pete Alonso: 4.4 bWAR, 146 OPS+, .271/40/131 NL Leader in RBI

The edge here is clearly with the New York Mets


Second Base:

Gleyber Torres: 4.1 bWAR, 114 OPS+, 257/24/76

Jeff McNeil: 5.7 bWAR, 140 OPS+, .326/9/62 NL Leader in Batting Average

The edge here is clearly with the New York Mets


Shortstop:

???: Will it be IKF or Oswald Peraza? Who knows?

Francisco Lindor: 5.4 bWAR, 125 OPS+, .270/26/107

The edge here is clearly with the New York Mets


Third Base:

Josh Donaldson: 2.4 bWAR, 94 OPS+, .222/15/62

Eduardo Escobar: 1.2 bWAR, 106 OPS+, .240/20/69

The edge here is with the Mets though it is closer than the other three infield positions.


Infield Overall - The edge is clearly with the Mets. (And it's not even close.)


Left Field:

???:

Mark Canha: 2.5 bWAR, 125 OPS+, .266/13/61

Right now we don't even know who is playing left field for the Yankees.

The edge here is clearly with the New York Mets.


Centerfield:

Harrison Bader: 1.1 bWAR, 87 OPS+, 250/5/30 (combined stats with St.L. and NY)

Brandon Nimmo: 5.1 bWAR, 130 OPS+, .274/16/64

The edge here is clearly with the New York Mets.


Right Field:

AARON JUDGE - OK, we can stop right there.

Starling Marte:

The edge here is clearly with the New York Yankees.


Outfield Overall: The edge goes to the Mets. It just does. At least for now.


Catcher:

Jose Trevino: 2.3 bWAR, 90 OPS+, .248/11/43 Platinum Glove

Tomas Nido: 0.3 bWAR, 72 OPS+, .239/3/28

The edge here is clearly with the New York Yankees


DH:

Giancarlo Stanton: 0.7 bWAR, 113 OPS+, .211/31/78

Daniel Vogelbach: 1.4 bWAR, 125 OPS+, .238/18/59 (combined stats with PHi and NY)

The edge here goes to the New York Mets. It's closer, again, but...


Position Players: The Mets have the advantage in 7 of 9 positions. Clearly.


***

Starting Rotation:

Gerrit Cole: 111 ERA+

Nestor Cortes: 159 ERA+

Luis Severino: 123 ERA+

Frankie Montas: 62 ERA+

Domingo German: 108 ERA+


Justin Verlander: 220 ERA+ AL Leader

Max Scherzer: 169 ERA+

Kodai Senga: ???

Carlos Carrasco: 97 ERA+

Jose Quintana: 137 ERA+


Again, this seems clear, the New York Mets have the advantage in starting pitching.


***

Bullpen:

Clay Holmes - 154 ERA+

Wandy Peralta - 144 ERA+

Tommy Kahnle - 151 ERA+

Jonathan Loaisiga - 95 ERA+

Lucas Luetge - 147 ERA+


Edwin Diaz - 297 ERA+

David Robertson - 172 ERA+ (Two teams, Chi (NL) and Phi)

Brooks Raley - 136 ERA+

Drew Smith - 117 ERA+

David Peterson - 101 ERA+


Do the Yankees have a closer? The Yankees always seem to have their relief pitchers pitch amazingly well (until they get hurt). Want to give the edge to the Yankees? Maybe?

It's close. And, maybe it's just me, but the bullpen for the Yankees looks weaker than it has in a long time.

***

Manager: I know there are a lot of people down on Buck Showalter. Fair enough. But he is, by far, a superior manager to Aaron Boone. I don't think that's up for debate.


Let us judge, as one method, the way the the baseball writers rate the two...


Buck Showalter is a four-time Manager of the Year. Aaron Boone has received first place votes only once (2019) when he finished in second place. The only other year that Boone earned any votes (last year), he received one second place vote and one third place vote.


No matter what fans here might argue for Boone, the consensus across baseball writers, if no one else, is clearly that Showalter is the more respected of the two. For all his success, Aaron Boone, for whatever reasons, is not seen as a manger who has been deserving of many votes for Manager of the Year through his entire five-year career thus far. That says something. To me it says that he's just not all that respected as a manager across baseball. If the baseball writers continue to not give votes to a manger who wins as often as Boone does, there has to be a reason why he doesn't garnish votes.


But, if that is not convincing, one would think that the manager has an impact on the team's overall performance, no? (If not, what is the purpose of a manager?)


According to the 2022 Pythagorean Win/Loss Projection, the Yankees, who went 99-63, should have gone 106-56. That means, basically, the Yankees lost seven more games than they were expected to. The Yankees under-performed. (At least according to the Pythagorean method.)


The Mets, on the other hand, out-performed their Pythagorean projection by two games. They won 101 games when they were expected to win 99.


I would think the manager has some impact on that.

***

Overall - I think it's clear that right now, as of today, the 2023 New York Mets look to be the better team. It's not even close. The main edge the Yankees have is Aaron Judge. And to a lesser extent, Jose Trevino is better than the Mets' catcher. The Yankees might have an advantage with their bullpen, but if they do, it's not clear. One thing, as of now, the Yankees do not have a closer. It might be Clay Holmes, but he was no sure thing last year after his amazing start.


Position, by position, the Mets are superior. Again, it's really not even close.


The Yankees can change this by acquiring some great talent, but on paper, right now, the Mets are the better team. I wish it weren't true. But they just are.


***

(A polite note to other writers/bloggers/podcasters/broadcasters/etc... if you use some of this information, or some of our ideas and/or research, feel free, it is free, but please give us and our writers credit when you do. It's only fair to credit the source.)

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