There was a point in time during the New York Yankees season when fans were contemplating whether the front office should trade Aaron Judge before the deadline.
As crazy as it sounds, those debates were justified. The Yankees were tailspinning, anemic in clutch moments and regularly losing games started by ace Gerrit Cole. At their lowest point, fans had talked themselves into tearing it down and restarting from scratch.
Flash forward to the first week of August, however, and New York has catapulted up the standings, breathing down the necks of Boston and Oakland in the Wild Card race. They’re also just 5.5 games behind Tampa Bay for the lead in the AL East.
You know what team is heading in the opposite direction? The crosstown Mets, who have squandered their multi-month stay atop the NL East. Despite being in free-fall mode and just three games over .500, however, the Mets are still just 0.5 games behind the Phillies.
Given that the Yanks have a much steeper climb than the Mets to make the playoffs, you’d think they’d have worse odds to be playing October baseball, right?
Wrong. So wrong, in fact, that as of late Friday afternoon, Fangraphs had the Yankees at a 56% chance to make the postseason. The Mets, meanwhile, sit at 42.8%.
The Yankees having better playoff odds than the Mets is hilarious.
Oh, how the tables have turned. Remember just a month ago when Mets fans and the national media were insisting NYM was a better team than the Yankees…blatantly ignoring the fact that the Bombers have three playoff teams in their division? We certainly do.
Let’s keep in mind that the Yankees are in third place (!) in their division, while the Mets just relinquished their spot atop the NL East for the first time since May 8. That’s as close as it gets to a three-month reign alone in first place, and the Yankees still have better playoff odds.
If that doesn’t tell the whole story between these teams, nothing will. In all honestly, the Mets should have built at least a 10-game lead in the division in the first half.
The Braves and Phillies were blowing late leads for fun and the Mets had three starters sporting ERA’s under 3.00 to go along with a largely lights-out bullpen.
The Yankees, on the other hand, have overcome slow starts by virtually all of their sluggers not named Judge, multiple COVID breakouts and countless debilitating injuries.
While still dealing with positive COVID cases, injuries and slumping hitters, the Yanks are now 12 games over .500 following their come-from-behind win over the Mariners on Saturday.
While the Mets are obviously an afterthought in our eyes, it doesn’t hurt to look up at the standings every now and again and laugh at their ineptitude.
Even when the Yankees are riding high, it always seems to lift the mood.