New York Mets: Breaking Down the 60-game Schedule

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets will likely play a local schedule in the modified 2020 season. Reports state the Mets will play 40 games against their NL East opponents, with the rest of the 20 games against the AL East. This creates the most competitive “10-team” division in baseball.

Outside of the Orioles, every game will be a highly competitive matchup as 8 of the 10 teams have definite playoff aspirations. The Mets were 40-36 against the NL East in 2019 but had mixed results when it breaks down by team.

Fierce Competitors

As expected, the Mets went 13-6 against the Miami Marlins last season, which included a 7-3 record in the second half. They improved but are still a ways from contending from an NL East crown. A .500 season is not out of sight for them.

The Mets held their own against the Washington Nationals. They were 12-7 against the defending champions. Two of their biggest victories came against the Nationals, but there were failures as well. They had a chance to sweep them twice in the second half but blew it big time. The first time came with an opportunity to gain first place in the Wild Card standings, with Jacob deGrom on the mound, but they could not seal the deal.

The second occurrence came in the middle game of a three-game series in Washington. They dramatically blew a 10-4 lead in the ninth inning and was a big blow for their playoff push. As usual, the Mets/Nationals series will have no love lost.

The only series the Mets took from the Atlanta Braves was the final one, which did not mean anything. They were 8-11 against the division champions and looked overmatched a majority of the time. Out of all the 2019 division champs, the Braves look the least likely to repeat.

The Mets were 7-12 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Arguably, their worst loss in the first half came in Philadelphia and started the downfall of Edwin Diaz‘s season. He blew the save and proceeded to lose the game in the same inning.

The Move to the American League/New Rules

Due to the fear of the virus traveling some interleague games do not make sense, but MLB has never been a league that uses common sense. The only AL East team they played in 2019 was the New York Yankees, where they split the season series. Thankfully, a series against the Baltimore Orioles should be a break to the Mets competitive schedule. Every other series will be an even matchup.

Not only will the Mets have to get used to a universal designated hitter, but a possibility of new extra-inning rules will be in place. A runner will start at second base to speed up the game and prevent increased exposure due to extra innings.

Like any new rule, it comes with plenty of doubters, but it will undoubtedly change the way baseball plays in 2020. It won’t just be extra innings; innings 1-9 are going to have a chaoticness we have never seen before.

MLB: How players around the league are responding to concerns about 2020 season

Could the New York Yankees pursue Max Scherzer in a trade?

Major League Baseball is one of the only professional sports leagues that cannot seem to come to terms for putting together a season. Due to these disagreements between MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLBPA, there are concerns that a season may not happen at all.

Rob Manfred told ESPN on Monday that he’s “not confident” there will be a 2020 season and that “as long as there’s no dialogue” with the MLBPA, “that risk is going to continue.” This is a complete turnaround of Manfred’s comments from last week when he said he was “100% confident” that there would be a 2020 season.

Manfred has also said, “The owners are 100 percent committed to getting baseball back on the field. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that I’m 100 percent certain that’s gonna happen.”

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark responded to Manfred’s comments, “Players are disgusted that after Rob Manfred unequivocally told Players and fans that there would ‘100%’ be a 2020 season, he has decided to go back on his word and is now threatening to cancel the entire season. Any implication that the Players Association has somehow delayed progress on health and safety protocols is completely false, as Rob has recently acknowledged the parties are ‘very, very close.”

Although there are some players that have come out publicly and said that they are not interested in playing a modified season with reduced pay, there are a lot of players that have expressed their willingness to play under any circumstances.

Here is what some of the MLB players in the league have said about what is happening:

The Owners Are Okay With No Baseball in 2020: But Fans and Players Should Not Be

The MLBPA had recently just announced a plan to reinstate the MLB season for 2020 that would help everyone make their money. Extended playoffs and a regular season with less radical paychecks mean that while the players will make more, the teams will as well with a larger postseason. The response to this on social media has been a response deeming this is our only hope for MLB baseball, not because the MLBPA is not willing to make adjustments or that the MLB fans aren’t interested, but per Buster Olney, the MLB owners have no problem with a season shutdown.

I’ve always been the type of sports fan who deals in numbers and tries to be objective, my writing often reflects this objective and advanced analytics approach. This, however, cannot be quantified, it cannot be put into a stat on FanGraphs or Baseball Prospectus, it cannot be compared to other metrics. This is the pure love of baseball talking here: These owners no longer care about baseball. Not talking about owners who pay their minor leaguers or put a winning team forward at all times, owners who want to make a large profit over having an MLB season.

This game is defined by not by owners but those who put on the cleats and don the gloves. Those who wear the hats, roll their socks up or wear their pants long, and chew and spit seeds in the dugout. This is a game defined by their inhuman abilities, Aaron Judge’s strength, Jordan Hicks speedy fastball, and Cody Bellinger’s speed. To have this game taken away not by the players but by owners who while they do write the checks, are in my opinion obligated to give their fans and players hope for the game and promote this beautiful game. They have not all done that.

These teams and players aren’t just employees in your company or business, they’re men who put their careers on the line to win and make you more money through the postseason. They try to win the World Series, they try to put up big numbers, they try to work in horrible Minor League conditions all to make sure there’s a product on the field and a trophy in the owner’s shelf. Us fans shouldn’t let those men be robbed of their season, robbed of their contracts, robbed of their hard-earned money, or robbed of their reputation.

This isn’t the owner’s game, this is our game, and I will do everything in my power as a writer to promote these players and the MLBPA’s quest to have a fair deal to bring the MLB back and make sure owners don’t get away from stealing the game from those who love it most.

Why the New York Yankees are heavy favorites for the 2020 World Series

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The 2020 New York Yankees, as currently constructed are one of the most dangerous teams in baseball. How? Here’s how.

Core Chemistry

Look at who made up the New York Yankees during the 98-01 teams. Jeter, Knoblauch, O’Neil, Martinez, Williams, Posada, Brocious, Soriano, Pettite, Cone, and Rivera. From 17 to now, we have Sanchez, Severino, Chapman, Torres, Judge, Gardner, Stanton, Andujar, Voit, Urshela, Tanaka, German, and DJ. There has to be something to be said for a core unit that’s been there for multiple seasons. They know how to play together, they know how to win, and they know how to have fun.

This Lineup Will Make You Salivate

Think about it. We’ll look at the slash lines of each hitter for the (potential) lineup, including home runs, RBI’s, and walk totals during the 2019 (or 2018 in case of injury) seasons:

DJ LeMahieu (.327/.375/.518, 26 HR’s, 102 RBI’s [both career highs], and 46 walks)

Aaron Judge (.272/.381/.540, 27 HR’s, 55 RBI’s, 64 walks)

Gleyber Torres (.278/.337/.535, 38 HR’s, 90 RBI’s [both career highs], 48 walks)

Gary Sanchez (.232/.316/.525, 34 HR’s [career high], 77 RBI’s, 40 walks)

Giancarlo Stanton (.266/.343/.509, 38 HR’s, 100 RBI’s, 70 walks [2018 stats])

Luke Voit (.263/.378/.464, 21 HR’s, 62 RBI’s, 71 walks [all career highs])

Gio Urshela (.314/.355/.534, 21 HR’s, 74 RBI’s, 25 walks [all career highs])

Miguel Andujar (.297/.328/.527, 27 HR’s, 92 RBI’s, 25 walks [2018 stats])

Brett Gardner (.251/.325/.503, 28 HR’s, 74 RBI’s [both career highs], 52 walks).

That’s 260 home runs, 726 runs batted in, and 441 walks. This is a team that gets on base, drives runners in, and are above average hitters. Think about it, Gary Sanchez was the only truly below-average hitter, along with a truly average hitter in Brett Gardner, and everyone else was an above-average hitter.

The Starting Rotation Ain’t Bad Too

Gerrit Cole improves every rotation. Because… well, did you SEE his 2019? Paxton is going to hopefully improve on the season he put up last year. Severino can likely return to form next year, and Tanaka can be expected to turn in a great first half of the season. If German isn’t suspended for too long, he has the stuff to be the most dominant number 5 in a rotation.

This is the first team the New York Yankees put up that, on paper, can best the 1998 Yankees.