Mets and Yankees fans – Just for fun, place your bets on which of the following duos of starting pitchers will win the most games combined…
As we know, there have been additions and subtractions to both the Mets and Yankees starting staffs since this time last year. So with that, we’re going to establish two teams, with one comprised of former Mets and Yankees starters, and the other made up of a duo of current Mets and Yankees starting pitchers. Then, following great deliberation I’m sure, we’ll answer this question: Which duo will win more games in 2019?
The Ex-Mets And Yankees Team
Matt Harvey: Harvey, as you’ll recall was separated from the Mets, following a series of tumultuous events and injuries, in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, where he spent all of 2018. As a free agent, Harvey will pitch this season for the Los Angeles Angels. Is there a comeback from his vintage Dark Knight reputation, or will he forever be just another .500 pedestrian pitcher for the remainder of his career? His stats for 2018 look like this:
Sonny Gray: Gray was finally released from purgatory by the Yankees when they traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for a prospect and a bag of peanuts. Once the prime target of several teams at the Trade Deadline in 2016, Gray’s experience in New York made that of A.J. Burnett‘s seem like a summer excursion to Bali. Like Harvey, Sonny Gray will be pitching in a different league with a brand new start and an opportunity to jumpstart his career from where it was way back in 2015. His stats for 2018:
To Be Opposed By
The Current Mets And Yankees Team
J.A. Happ was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Yankees for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney on July 26 of last year when the Yankees were scurrying to add a reliable starter for the stretch run against the Red Sox. In mid-December, Happ was resigned by the Yankees as a free agent. He is ticketed to be the Yankees fourth or fifth starter either ahead or behind CC Sabathia. His stats for 2018:
Steven Matz: I selected Matz to be on this team even though he is not an addition to the Mets. However, the Mets are counting on him in much the same way the Yankees are counting on Happ to stabilize their rotation after the big guns have made their starts. Matz has been dogged by a series of injuries that have resulted in consecutive disappointing seasons, leaving his career with the Mets pretty much a mess. For Matz, this should be one of those put up, or we’ll see ya seasons. His stats for 2018:
So there you have it, Harvey and Gray versus Happ and Matz. For the Mets and Yankees, will either, or maybe both teams say “Ouch, wish we had the guy now” at the end of the 2019 season? And which “team” of starters will ultimately outshine the other?
Sonny Gray will emerge as a serviceable starter for the Reds, despite the fact he is pitching in a bandbox at Riverfront where balls fly towards the Ohio River as a pace quicker than Donald Trump posts on Twitter. He hasn’t “forgotten” how to pitch, but his ego was surely bruised by his experience in the Bronx. Count on him for 12 wins easily and possibly as many as 15 – but remember too that we’re talking about the Reds and the firepower they may or not supply for him.
Matt Harvey is back in his comfort zone in L.A., where he can attend a Laker’s game sitting in the front row with his latest starlet companion. The test will come when we see if that’s all Matt Harvey wants in life, or does he still have that fire burning that made him the Dark Knight of baseball? Only Harvey knows the answer, so this is a wait and let’s see what happens game. Ten to twelve wins – no more.
J.A. Happ is the most predictable and therefore the most reliable of the pitchers on either team. It’s unlikely he will repeat his seventeen win season from last year, but 12-14 victories should be in easy reach. Just by staying healthy all season, Happ gives the Yankees innings that will help what is expected to be a highly taxed bullpen. Good move by the Yankees to bring him back.
Steven Matz, in contrast to Happ, is the most unpredictable of the four pitchers. He can easily turn into Al Leiter or fade into oblivion like Oliver Perez. His checkerboard career has stymied even those closest with the Mets, and this has to be the season where the Mets ask – Will the real Steven Matz stand up? Another 10 and 10 season is in the works, although like many Mets fans, it sure would be nice to be surprised.
The Final Tally – What Say You?
Roughly, and for what it’s worth, by the numbers above the Ex-Mets and Yankees win by a score of 25-23 wins. This has been a fun column to write. Your thoughts…