WESTWOOD, N.J.– Major League Baseball's regular season is upon us, so we asked nationally-renowned baseball writer Bob Klapisch of Westwood five questions about the New York Mets and Yankees.
Klapisch, a Leonia native and collegiate baseball player at Columbia University, began writing about the two local teams in 1983 – first for the New York Post, then the New York Daily News – before joining The Bergen Record as a columnist in 1996. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
DAILY VOICE: What do you think their respective records will be?
Mets: "I’m looking for 90-92 wins, although I could see that total going all the way up to 95-97. They’re a very good team in a very mediocre National League."
Yankees: "They will win 86 games and not make the playoffs."
DAILY VOICE: How do you think each team's starters will fare?
Mets: Matt Harvey (21 wins); Jacob de Grom (16); Noah Syndergaard (14); Steven Matz (12); and Bartolo Colon (10).
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (14 wins); Michael Pineda (11); Luis Severino (12); Nathan Eovaldi (11); and CC Sabathia (four) before giving way to Ivan Nova (four).
DAILY VOICE: What's the best-case scenario for each?
Mets: "Everyone stays healthy – including David Wright – and the Nationals go nowhere, even with Dusty Baker as their feel-good manager/motivator."
Yankees: "The veterans play well, notably Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira stays off the disabled list and plays 150 games. Tanaka finally pitches 200 innings, and the bullpen doesn’t blow a save all year."
DAILY VOICE: What's the worst-case scenario for each?
Mets: "Last season's success takes the edge off Mets’ competitive drive, Syndergaard needs Tommy John surgery, and the Nationals start out hot and force the Mets into a summer-long dog fight."
Yankees: "The starters all struggle, Tanaka blows out his UCL and needs Tommy John and Sabathia is relegated to the bullpen. Teixeira is on the DL by June 1, A-Rod slumps in April and never gains momentum. The lights-out bullpen never gets a chance to shine."
DAILY VOICE: Breakout candidate for each?
Mets: Matz. "Monster curveball."
Yankees: Severino. "Love his stuff, as well as his make-up. Very mature."
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