Baseball’s first month was even shorter than usual thanks to a lockout that pushed opening day back to April 7, but the calendar has flipped over just the same.
As May arrives and rosters are cut down from 28 to the usual 26 — another product of the lockout and a shortened spring training — it’s time to check in on the major takeaways from the MLB season so far.
New York, New York: Top of the heap … for now
The two best records in baseball entering Monday’s action belong to the New York Yankees and New York Mets. That wouldn’t be a shocking development to anyone perusing the rosters, but somehow feels like a revelation to the fan bases.
The Yankees exited the offseason seemingly on their back foot, with the Toronto Blue Jays making splashy moves in the division and the big free agent shortstops landing elsewhere. So far, the holdovers have been just fine, thank you. Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo — who re-signed in the Bronx this offseason — are top two in the majors in home runs. That might be in part because Yankee Stadium, where they are 10-3 so far this season, is one of the few parks where homers are still proliferating.
Meanwhile, across town, a good roster has rarely meant surefire success for the Mets. After Max Scherzer and a remade outfield headlined a busy, expensive winter under owner Steve Cohen, an injury to Jacob deGrom before opening day portended another Mets-ish season. But … they have just been winning. New manager Buck Showalter quickly rallied support with his hyper-focused attention to detail and scowling responses to the many Mets who have been hit by pitches.
Of course, neither has conquered their foes yet. Both begin key series against their biggest division challengers Monday, with the Yankees heading to Toronto while the Mets welcome the Atlanta Braves.
With MLB’s first month in the books, Shohei Ohtani and the Angels are leading the AL West. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)