The Yankees and the Mets begin the Subway Series tomorrow night in Queens. Since the two teams play in the same city, naturally there are debates about which player is better: Gerrit Cole versus Jacob Degrom, and Aaron Judge versus Pete Alonso. So who is winning these debates so far in 2020?
Cole vs. deGrom
Unfortunately, it is becoming rather unlikely that we will see these two face off against each other this year. The two teams will play again next weekend at Yankee Stadium, but it appears as if the Mets are going to miss Cole both times.
The basic stats are pretty close. Sure, deGrom has a fairly lower ERA, but if you look at xERA, it is much closer (Cole: 3.02, Degrom: 2.82). Cole has struck out about 1.22 batters per inning, while deGrom sits at 1.25. Overall, it appears as if deGrom has a slight edge here.
Getting into the more advanced stats, deGrom once again has the edge, albeit just a tiny one. Cole does have a leg up in walk rate and XWOBA, but deGrom leads in everything else.
Cole has been getting hit a little bit harder than deGrom has so far this season. Again, there all fairly close, except for the hard-hit rate, in which deGrom has a more comfortable lead.
All in all, it pains me to say that deGrom appears to have the small edge through the first handful of starts for each pitcher. But that edge is definitely slight and can change with one bad start from either guy.
Aaron Judge/Luke Voit vs. Pete Alonso
After Alonso beat Judge’s rookie record last season by hitting 53 home runs, many were comparing the two. Now, many are comparing Alonso to the other first baseman in New York: Luke Voit. So let’s take a look at all three of them.
Looking at their basic stats, Judge and Voit have Alonso beat pretty much across the board (barring on-base percentage). For reference, many consider .450 to be a pretty decent slugging percentage and .550 to be outstanding — Alonso is slightly below the first barrier, while Judge and Voit clear both by a long shot. Both Judge and Voit have OPSs above 1.000, while Alonso sits well below that mark. Lastly, Judge and Voit each have more than three times the WAR Alonso has as we approached the halfway point of the 60-game sprint.
Once again, the numbers for Judge and Voit best those for Alonso across the board. And as Conrad mentioned earlier this week, Voit has produced the fifth highest wRC+ of any first baseman who has played at least 100 games since he was acquired (more than Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Olson, and the man of the hour: Pete Alonso). The only thing Alonso leads in is whiff rate, although he does chase pitches out of the zone more often.
And for good measure, let’s take a look at defense and speed (comparing just Voit and Alonso since they play the same position):
OAA (from 2019)
Sprint Speed (ft/s)
So it does look like Alonso has a slight leg up in these two categories. But that definitely does not mean he has had the better season.
Overall, it is quite clear that both Judge and Voit have outperformed Alonso this year (and one can argue that they have outperformed him dating back to when Voit was acquired). The Mets may have a leg up on the ace race so far, but it is very close.