Last year’s spring training brought news of the New York Mets losing starter Jacob DeGrom for what turned out to be half of the 2022 season. This year, the injury bug seems to have bitten the Mets even more severely.
After Jose Quintana was ruled out until at least the All-Star break with a stress fracture of his rib along with a benign tumor on the impacted rib.
There have been some minor injuries in the bullpen as well, which appeared to be manageable–until Wednesday night.
After locking down a save to beat rival country the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, Mets closer Edwin Diaz and his Puerto Rico teammates were celebrating the win when the star reliever went down.
The Mets are waiting on MRI results, but many within the club are already fearing that it’s a significant, if not season-ending, injury for the All-Star. There are already reports that the Mets are looking at free agent (and Buck Showalter favorite from Baltimore) Zach Britton to bring on in a setup role for likely new closer Adam Ottovino.
While Mets fans and the baseball world await Diaz’s fate, it doesn’t change the fact that the Mets and New York Yankees are both among the favorites to win the 2023 World Series.
Earlier this spring, we’ve taken a look at some props to consider for both teams. Now, we’re going to examine each team’s odds to win their division.
Yankees MLB Odds to Win American League East Division
Starting with the Yankees, they currently lead a three-team race among 2022 playoff teams in the American League East. Here are the best-available odds in the division among NY sportsbooks.
New York is also dealing with some injuries on the pitching front. Free-agent acquisition Carlos Rodon is currently in the middle of a 10-day shutdown period, but it isn’t expected to be serious. Nestor Cortes and Lou Trivino are also dealing with injuries, while Frankie Montas will miss most of the year due to shoulder surgery. Montas also said he wasn’t fully healthy when traded to the Bronx Bombers last year either.
Pitching is also a concern for division favorites, however, as Toronto–while signing Chris Bassitt–doesn’t have a particularly strong rotation, and Tampa Bay was dealt a blow with an injury to Tyler Glasnow.
Yankees AL East Odds: Will Judge Get Help in 2023?
The Yankees are running back an offense that looks very similar to 2022 and was carried by Aaron Judge. It would be silly to think that Judge can replicate his 62-home run campaign. Meanwhile, Toronto boosted their offense by adding Brandon Belt and Whit Merrifield. Tampa Bay will be relying on a healthy Wander Franco to pace the Rays’ offense.
Boston has plenty of question marks, and there’s definitely value in Baltimore at +2500 with so many young players hitting the Major League level, but they may be a year away from truly competing for the division title.
Assuming Rodon is healthy going into the season (or at least by the end of April), the Yankees’ pitching should set them apart and lead to another AL East title in 2023.
NY Mets Odds to Win NL East, Possibly MLB’s Toughest Division
There hasn’t been very good news for the Mets since the acquisition of Carlos Correa fell through, but they are still in line with Atlanta and Philadelphia in the National League East preseason odds.
One thing is for sure: the Nationals aren’t a good bet at even those extreme longshot odds!
If the Diaz news is bad, expect the odds to drop a bit on the Mets. Even if they sign Britton or someone else to replace Diaz in the bullpen, the relief corps is pretty thin after Ottovino, David Robertson, and Drew Smith.
With Quintana out for the first half of the season, New York will turn to David Peterson once again. There’s also Tylor Megill in case Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Kodai Senga, or Carlos Carrasco miss some time during the season. Megill pitched brilliantly last April, including starting a combined no-hitter, but he struggled in September after returning from an injury himself.
NL East Mets Odds: Offense Should Be a Strength
With the exception of Starling Marte missing the last few weeks of the regular season after getting hit on the hand with a pitch, the offense was largely healthy in 2022. Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Pete Alonso join Marte as a very strong top half of the lineup. Omar Narvaez was brought on to share catching duties with Tomas Nido.
We’ll also see how the up-and-coming members of the lineup will contribute, including Brett Bady at third base, Mark Vientos in the infield, Francisco Alvarez at catcher, and Ronny Mauricio. The latter is 21 and will likely start the season at AAA-Syracuse after belting some huge tape-measure home runs in spring training.
Philadelphia is dealing with an injury to Bryce Harper that will keep him out for the first half of the season, and the depth of their pitching is a concern. Atlanta, however, has tremendous depth and a strong lineup 1-9, so while the Mets are dealing with some new questions, we would have to tab the Braves as the NL East favorite.