A little over a month into the 2022 Major League Baseball Season, there is some East Coast/West Coast history.
Both the Mets and Yankees in New York, as well as both the Angels (and Dodgers) in Los Angeles are on track to win more than 100 games. Even more significant is the fact that all four teams are currently in first place within their respective divisions, a first in MLB history.
Which metropolis is best for baseball? The Angels are not in L.A. — the Angels' team is in Anaheim — but we remind you that the NFL's New York Giants (and Jets) both play in New Jersey. We asked Alden Gonzalez from the West Coast and Joon Lee, who are both ESPN baseball experts, to give us their opinions on where they live in these two cities.
Which MLB town would YOU choose today? L.A. or NYC, then?
What city has the best atmosphere for baseball?
Alden Gonzalez explains why L.A. is so special: To all those who criticize Dodgers fans for being perpetually late: Have you ever driven into Dodger Stadium before the first pitch? That's traffic. It's not like there is a subway to take you there. The place gets packed by the middle of any home game on any night. It can get so tense in October that you can feel the building shaking. It's a unique atmosphere. I can attest to that from having been to all 30 of the active baseball parks. From 2013 to 2019, the Dodgers topped 3.7 million fans every year, making them the most popular major league team. For 17 years, the Angels sold more than 3 million tickets in order to reach their fan-less, COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. One of their new relievers. Archie BradleyRecently, I was curious if Angels fan might be “the best-kept secret in baseball.”
Joon Lee discusses why NYC is such a great place:Alden's use traffic to excuse fans' tardiness on the West Coast is more than just an argument that New York's fans are better than Los Angeles. It's also a reason why it's a better area to live. Although the subways are not perfect, they can get you to both stadiums with no parking fees. Citi Field is lively and enthusiastic on a daily basis. It is also one of the most joyous places to see a sporting event, especially when the Mets are doing well. While the atmosphere at the Yankee Stadium may not be the same as at the old Stadium on a daily basis, it is home to some of the most enthusiastic baseball fans. The team also hosts the famous roll call at each game.
Which coast has the highest star power?
Gonzalez: Mike TroutThe most beloved player in the sport and a two-way sensation Shohei OhtaniThis is a legend. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was the current Dodgers who ranked in the top six for jersey sales last season, according to MLB. Mookie Betts (first), Clayton Kershaw(fifth) Cody Bellinger (sixth). All of them ranked higher than the Yankees' Aaron JudgeThe seventh place finisher was… The Dodgers have since added Freddie FreemanHe was one of the greatest hitters in this era. The team also has seven All-Stars. Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, David Price, Craig KimbrelAnd Blake Treinen. The simple fact that half of the country is asleep when they play on the West Coast is what causes problems for West Coast players. This is not their fault. You could also take a rest.
Lee:Jersey sales don’t increase the number of players on the field. Since 2018, these are the three MLB pitchers with the highest FanGraphs WR. Jacob deGrom, Max ScherzerAnd Gerrit Cole. And among the hitters: Francisco LindorJudge ranks 11th in fWAR, while Judge ranks fourth. Before you think about All-Stars on the Yankees and Mets rosters, Giancarlo Stanton, Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, Joey Gallo, Taijuan Walker, Jeff McNeil, Edwin Diaz, Aroldis Chapman, Chris Bassitt, Eduardo Escobar, James McCannAnd Gleyber Torres.
What if you could make a roster with players from the Dodgers/Angels and another roster from both the Yankees/Mets?
Gonzalez: I do this stuff just for fun — yes, I'm a huge dork — so I'll go one step further and present my entire team as a lineup.
Mookie Betts, RF
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Mike Trout, LF
Shohei Ohtani, DH
Trea Turner, SS
Max Muncy 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Cody Bellinger, CF
I would go with Walker BuehlerKershaw can be my starting pitcher. Raisel IglesiasKimbrel is a good candidate, and would be my close friend. This lineup is Balanced. The outfield defense would be electric. Five of these players, Betts, Trout and Ohtani, Turner and Bellinger, have freakish combinations of speed-power. Four other players — Freeman Muncy, Rendon and Smith — combine elite power and elite patience. Suerte.
Lee:I'll match Alden’s lineup.
DJ LeMahieu, 2B
Aaron Judge, RF
Francisco Lindor, SS
Giancarlo Stanton, DH
Pete Alonso 1B
Joey Gallo LF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
James McCann (C).
It would include a rotation that was absolutely stacked between Scherzer and deGrom as well as Cole, three pitchers who would be the aces for every other rotation in baseball. This team would hit the ball to the moon and feature a bullpen with Chapman. Jonathan Loaisiga, Michael KingDiaz.
How certain are you that your team will be at the top of their league?
GonzalezThe Dodgers are the most balanced team in the majors, and they are favorites to win the World Series. Take this for example: Their biggest weakness was their rotation heading into the season. Yet, their starters are the most effective in the majors when it comes to ERA. Their historically talented lineupThe Dodgers currently lead the National League with run differential, but it is still not fully working. The Angels might have the answer, but it is still a question. an adequate supporting castTrout, Ohtani and other players. They have a lot of talent and depth in their lineup. The problem is, of course, starting pitching. Two of their most prominent young players are: Patrick SandovalAnd Reid Detmers, have appeared, and Noah SyndergaardIt looked wonderful, except for Monday's dud against The Texas Rangers. They need to be healthy, more than any other team. If they succeed, the Angels will be in contention.
Lee: I am confident. The Yankees are certain to be in contention year-round for the division title, while the Mets appear primed to make strong runs at the playoffs. Both the Mets (and the Yankees) have one of the best offenses in baseball and top-five pitchers. The Mets have an even smaller bullpen than those of the Yankees but the team is still performing well despite deGrom being on the disabled list. Watch out for him if he makes a full recovery sooner than expected.
What is the most likely outcome for your city in the World Series? And which team would it be?
Gonzalez: Although top-shelf talent won't be enough to beat the 162-game grind alone, it can mitigate some of the randomness that comes with short postseason games. Sometimes — perhaps most significantly with the 2019 Washington NationalsIt has been seen to carry teams all the way through October. It's a feature that both the Dodgers (and the Angels) have. The Dodgers also have this. And incredible depth And There are many postseason experiences to choose from And A front office that is able to acquire any player necessary to boost the roster's midseason numbers. It is impossible to say that baseball has a postseason favorite. This is especially true now that the league has grown. If you are forced to pick, it is difficult to not choose the Dodgers.
Lee: Here, I will support the Yankees. This roster offers depth from the lineup to starting rotation to the pitching staff. Judge will be motivated to perform during a contract year, and I believe the Yankees' top-end talent surpasses that of the Mets by a small margin. Particularly if Nestor CortesIf he continues to pitch as he did this season, the Bronx Bombers could be a threat in October due to their combined experience in the playoffs. It's not an easy decision, but I believe I could wake up tomorrow feeling better about the Mets over the Yankees. It's difficult to choose between the two teams.
Forget 2022. Your city is most likely to remain competitive for many years.
GonzalezTrout was the dominant player in the 2010s — according to a Lot— He might be at the brink of his best season Right now. He will be employed by the Angels until 2030. They'll be able to extend Ohtani, who is a free agent after 2023. That will give them two pieces of the foundation to keep them relevant through the remainder of this decade. The Dodgers currently have the following players through 2024: Taylor, Betts Buehler and Smith Gavin LuxAnd Dustin May. Bellinger, Muncy, Turner, and others will all be eligible for free agency. Julio UriasBut their farm system is ranked among them eighth in the industry by ESPN's Kiley McDaniel. The Dodgers not only have great financial resources, but they are also extraordinarily good at producing elite young players. That combination is rare in any other team.
Lee: Money, money, money. Both the Steinbrenners as well as Steve Cohen are primed for huge spending in years to come. You can combine this with young cores at the Mets, Lindor and Alonso as well as rising prospects in Yankees' systems like Anthony Volpe, and a foundation that includes Stanton, LeMahieu, and Cole (and perhaps Judge). Although the Mets do not have a farm system as good as the Dodgers', they can make up for it with spending and willingness to invest. The Yankees? They came in one spot higher than McDaniel’s Dodgers.