Subway Series
CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 09: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets and Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Desperate Crosstown Rivals Match Up For The First Subway Series This Season

The Yankees and Mets are set to face off in the first subway series of the 2021 season. The Mets are clinging to the top position in the NL East while the Yankees are a staggering nine games back of first place in the AL East, and both teams are in dire need of a series win, but which New York team needs it the most?

The Mets

The Mets are currently two games up on the Nationals for first place in the NL East. They are 1-4 in their last five games and are coming off a loss in which Jacob DeGrom went seven innings and struck out 14. Their main issue this season has been their inability to produce runs. Their pitching has been solid, but their offense has consistently been lacking, mainly due to injuries among their best batters. The Mets are in an ideal situation to bounce back against a Yankees team that has allowed four or more runs in eight of their last nine games.

With the Nationals playing the Dodgers their next three games, a series which they are unlikely to sweep, it is essential that the Mets expand their division lead. If the Mets can take advantage of a lost Yankees team, they will be in a great position as we approach the all-star break. It also helps that the team is beginning to get most of their injured players back. Taking down their cross-town rivals would provide a significant momentum and morale boost.

The Yankees

On paper, the Yankees look like they should be in contention for a playoff spot, but that has not been the case this season. The team is arguably the biggest disappointment in baseball right now, and whenever they seem on the cusp of catching their stride, a demoralizing loss brings them crashing back down. At the end of the day, the players are the ones who have to shoulder the blame. Hal Steinbrenner put it pretty bluntly, following their worst regular-season loss in years Wednesday night.

“The offense … it’s perplexing. It really is… This team that we put together leaving spring training was a very, very good team. They just haven’t played up to their potential. And these aren’t aging players; these guys are in their prime. They just haven’t played up to their potential and that’s been the big problem.”

Hal Steinbrenner via ESPN

It goes without saying that this team is in a precarious position. They are currently on track to score over 200 fewer runs than they have every year since 2017. On top of that, their bullpen has completely imploded since the start of June, and Gerrit Cole may not be the same pitcher without sticky stuff. This subway series is one of the most important ones the Yankees will ever play, and the team is at a point where they cannot afford to lose any series, much less a series against the Mets.

Clearly The Yankees

When considering how long it has taken the Mets to get healthy and how well they have played without some of their best players, it is evident that they are in a much better position than the Yankees. The Yankees have problems on top of problems and are in a worse spot in their division. Winning this series could be the difference between them sneaking into the playoffs or not making it for their first time since 2016.

Should they lose this series, the Mets will have plenty more opportunities to bounce back in the future. The pinstripes will not. Each upcoming series will be do-or-die for the 27-time world champions, but this one could be their most important.

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