This week will see the Subway Series and surely the trades of several significant players around the league. In addition, the Blue Jays look to reinforce their lead in the wild card standings just as the Orioles look to make their way into them.
Subway Series: Take #1
After narrowly avoiding a sweep against the Padres over the weekend, the Mets desperately need to play defense now with Atlanta just 1.5 games back. The recent dynamic between the Mets and Atlanta is somewhat reminiscent of what happened with the two teams last year following the All-Star break. Atlanta has been in possession of much of the momentum recently and the Mets have been receding. However, the Mets have a far better team than last year, so it is way too soon to count them out.
As has been exhibited throughout the year, New York has an impressive and deep pitching staff; even through the injuries of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, the pitching staff has kept the team afloat. However, aside from Pete Alonso, the Mets have struggled, at times, for a consistent offensive force. They have already acquired Daniel Vogelbach, but he will not nearly be enough. Someone like J.D. Martinez is what the Mets need; they need someone to cleanly slide into an everyday DH role to give the offense the boost it needs. Look for such a deal to happen over the next week, or so.
While the Mets look to fill that hole, they host the Yankees for the first edition of the 2022 Subway Series. Even with the Mets’ recent struggles, it is set to be a great series. Tuesday’s matchup is set to be Jordan Montgomery against Taijuan Walker, who are both having stellar seasons. Wednesday will be Domingo Germán against Scherzer. If the Mets can pull off a win on Tuesday, that will set them up nicely for a sweep on Wednesday being that German is coming off of allowing five earned runs over just three innings.
Catch game one on Tuesday at 7:10 PM EST.
PETE. ALONSO. pic.twitter.com/nQGWpqc0Za
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 25, 2022
Jays and Cardinals and Tigers, Oh My
The Blue Jays host the Cardinals followed by the Tigers this week and have a chance to reinforce their lead in the first wild card spot. Toronto enters their two-game set against the Cardinals having won six games in a row and eight of its last 10. Although inflated by their 28-5 win on Friday, they have the highest team OPS among all major league teams over the last 15 days, as well as the best ERA and WHIP among all American League teams during that span. They have simply been on fire.
They are in the perfect position to sweep the series against St. Louis with both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado heading to the restricted list for the duration of the series due to vaccination status. José Berríos, who is far better at home and has delivered three consecutive quality starts, will take the mound for Toronto in game one, and Kevin Gausman has game two.
Catch game one of this interleague matchup on Tuesday evening at 7:07 PM EST.
— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2022
It will be fascinating to see what the Baltimore Orioles do from now until the trade deadline. They begin the week by hosting the Rays. While Tampa leads their season series, the last time the Orioles hosted the Rays, the Orioles took three out of four and it was one of the first flashes this season of the talent that the Orioles possess.
After their four game set against Tampa, the Orioles head to Cincinnati for the weekend which will be a great opportunity to inch closer to, and maybe even make their way into, a wild card spot as the Mariners face the Astros at the same time who just swept them that this past weekend.
Aside from games over this week, Baltimore could behave in several different ways when it comes to approaching the deadline. The most likely approach will be that they buy and sell simultaneously. This would mean, for example, that they trade away Trey Mancini, but will also acquire some pieces with control that could help them win this year and down the road.
Catch game one of the Orioles hosting the Rays on Monday evening at 7:05 PM EST.
— Baseball Today (@dailymlbtweets) July 24, 2022
This week leads into the trade deadline which is set to kick in on August 2nd at 6:00 PM EST. Over the next several days, there are many big names expected to be moved.
Juan Soto is anticipated to be the biggest name to switch teams. Ballclubs like the Yankees, Cardinals, and Padres should be expected to make serious pushes to land the superstar. There are also several other teams like the Mariners and Blue Jays that could acquire him.
Josh Bell, though not as big a name as Soto, could be the move that tips the scale for so many teams. Similarly for Willson Contreras, who is one of the rare catchers with a great hit tool, he can fit in on almost any team to push them over the edge.
Shohei Ohtani will be a big wild card over the next eight days. The Angels seem to wish to keep the two-way player. However, as Arte Moreno and Perry Minasian hear what teams are offering in exchange for Ohtani, they may be compelled to come to terms with the state of their ballclub and opt to send him to the highest bidder.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 16, 2022
Featured image by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)