We are only in the month of May, but there is already a unique buzz in the New York area. Both the Yankees and Mets are off to strong starts. The Yankees entered play on May 3 on a 10-game winning streak. The Mets looked like the best team in baseball in the month of April. Fans of both teams are already anticipating another historic showdown, if the Los Angeles Dodgers do not get in the way, could we see a Subway World Series for the second time between the Mets and Yankees? The betting odds sure look stacked.
A Subway World Series in 2022: Reality or Fantasy?
New York Wants Another Championship In Town
It’s never too early to dream. The first Subway Series between the teams was 22 years ago. Both fan bases are hungry, as the Yankees have won one World Series since their five-game victory over the Mets in the Fall Classic that year. One championship in 22 years seems like utter failure to many Yankees fans with lofty annual expectations.
The Red Sox have won four championships since 2000, while the Yankees are coming off their first decade without a World Series appearance since the 1910’s. Things just don’t feel right in the Bronx.
The Mets advanced to the World Series in 2015, but have not won a title since their legendary championship season of 1986. Most Mets fans don’t want to discuss the 2000 World Series because of the loss to their most hated opponent. Another Subway Series would provide an opportunity for long-awaited revenge.
From 1921 to 1956, there were 13 editions of the Subway Series in the Fall Classic. The Yankees won 10 of them. The Giants won the first two, and the Dodgers took one in 1955. The local rivalry was re-ignited in 1997 in the regular season, when interleague play was introduced. The Yankees lead the all-time regular season series, 76-58.
The regular season Subway Series has lost some of its luster over the years, as it is no longer a novelty. It does stir more passion than average regular season games, but the matchups don’t carry as much perceived importance as in past years. Another World Series featuring the two teams, though, would create New York City’s biggest sporting stir since the Giants knocked off the Patriots for the second time in Super Bowl XLVI.
If you view the latest MLB Power Rankings on any site, the Dodgers, Mets and Yankees are usually in the Top 3. It would be quite nifty to see a former New York team spoil another Subway Series matchup. We could conceivably see the Dodgers knock off both teams on their way to a second championship in three years. That would be a painful and historic body blow to their former home of New York, which lost the Dodgers after the 1957 season.
While the Yankees have owned the baseball headlines in New York since they were a great dynasty in the mid to late 1990’s, the Mets have taken their place at the city’s forefront before. The 1986 and 1969 championship squads are regarded as two of the most beloved and memorable single-season teams in New York sports lore. The Yankees are much more popular nationally and worldwide, but the Mets were very prominent in town in the 1960s, early 1970s and 1980s. When the Mets are playing well, you will see a lot of orange and blue around the five boroughs.
Why The Mets and Yankees Could Meet Up In the Fall Classic
It would be fitting to see the Mets make a deep postseason run in the year when they erected a statue of Tom Seaver outside of Citi Field. It seems supernatural that the Mets pitching has been so impressive early in the season of the new Seaver monument. What is scary to consider is how good the starting staff has been without Jacob deGrom.
The offense has been more patient and selective under new hitting coach Eric Chavez. A lineup that includes Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte and Pete Alonso along with complementary hitters such as Jeff McNeil, Mark Canha and Brandon Nimmo has been at the top of the National League in on-base percentage, batting average and runs scored.
The Yankees have been the best team in baseball in terms of power. Anthony Rizzo has led MLB in homers, as he has become fully comfortable in New York and should continue to deliver bombs with a left-handed swing ideally made for Yankee Stadium. If Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can stay healthy, the Yankees will batter many opposing pitching staffs into submission.
Yet the Yankees’ pitching has also boosted the team, with others besides Gerrit Cole making significant contributions. Jordan Montgomery has been very stingy, and Luis Severino has made a triumphant return to health. Nestor Cortes Jr. has become a major fan favorite, as he has totally exceeded expectations. He looks more like a Yankee Stadium vendor than a Major League pitcher, yet he has displayed All-Star form so far this season.
With visions of a World Series clash already dancing inside the baseball caps of New York fans, the first regular season matchups between the teams in late July will draw greater attention than usual. Nationally, the country may cringe at the thought of New York owning the baseball world in October. The Dodgers and Blue Jays can be among the teams to prevent it.
But a New Yorker can dream: Cole vs. Alonso. Scherzer vs. Judge. deGrom vs. Stanton. Cortes vs. Lindor. Queens vs. the Bronx. Steve Cohen vs. the Steinbrenner legacy. There is a path to the Subway Series again. We can see it on the tracks even though it’s early in the year.
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