From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
The symmetry exhibited between the Yankees and Mets this season is truly amazing.
The clubs are mirror images of themselves. They hold MLB’s two best records before Monday’s play and each hold down first place in their respective divisions simultaneously entering May for only the fifth time since 1969.
The Yankees (16-6) were on a nine-game winning streak before the start of this week’s key three-game series at the second-place Blue Jays, who trailed by 1 1/2 games. The Mets (16-7) enjoyed a three-game lead over the improved Marlins before the start of this week’s pivotal four-game series against the Braves.
The Yankees sport a .249 team average with 31 home runs, a run differential of +41 and a team 2.72 earned-run average. The Mets are close in those categories at .262, 18 HRs, +37 and 2.99.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams’ starting staffs:
The Yankees are buoyed by Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.00 ERA), Nestor Cortes (1-0, 1.31), Luis Severino (2-0, 3.75), Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 2.70) and Jameson Taillon (1-1, 3.26).
Michael King has been a gem out of the Yankees bullpen, sporting a sparkling 0.61 ERA with 22 strikeouts and only three walks in 14 2/3 innings, and closer Aroldis Chapman is 6-for-6 in save opportunities.
The Mets counter with Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61), whose teams for whom he has pitched for have not lost in his past 24 regular-season starts, Chris Bassitt (3-1, 2.25), Tylor Megill (4-0, 1.93), Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 4.09) and Taijuan Walker (0-0, 0.00 in two starts). Megill and four relievers combined on a no-hitter Friday — only the second gem tossed in the franchise’s 61-year-old history.
The Yankees’ staff has 10 pitchers with an ERA of 3.00 or below; the Mets have eight.
Contrary to past seasons, the Yankees’ batting lineup is more flexible and athletic and the defense has improved dramatically. Manager Aaron Boone has the luxury to rotate a veteran player out of the starting lineup every game, keeping his roster fresh for September. The Mets have plenty of interchangeable parts like bench player Dominic Smith, who went 4-for-4 Sunday and can spell Pete Alonso occasionally at first base.
In the field, the Yankees recently had a 13-game errorless streak ended, which tied for the second-longest in the franchise’s long history. They have six errors in 22 games.
The Mets have made only seven errors in 23 games, best in the National League and the third-fewest among the 30 MLB teams.
The teams play each other July 26-27 in Flushing and Aug. 22-23 in the Bronx.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com