In crosstown rivalries, fans usually love to see the other team in their city suffer. But in New York and Los Angeles so far this MLB season, the success has been universal. Never before have the nation’s two biggest cities seen their four baseball teams all lead their divisions after more than a game — until this week.
The New York Yankees are 18-6 with a 3.5-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East. Across town, the New York Mets lead the Miami Marlins by 4.5 games. In the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels are 15-10, 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros, while the Los Angeles Dodgers currently hold just a 0.5 game lead over the San Diego Padres.
This is a familiar place for the Dodgers, who had won the NL West eight years a row before finishing a game behind the San Francisco Giants last year with a whopping 106 wins. (The Dodgers then eliminated the Giants in a thrilling NLDS.) The Yankees last won their division in 2019, and the Mets and Angels haven’t finished in first since 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Meanwhile, smaller cities are ruling MLB’s Central divisions this spring. The Minnesota Twins hold a four-game lead in the AL Central, and the Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in the NL Central. A sweep of MLB divisions by the three biggest U.S. cities is not very promising given the Chicago teams’ standings. Both the White Sox and Cubs are currently below .500.
How much longer will New York and LA’s dominance last? The Dodgers are most in danger of losing their lead: If the Padres beat the Guardians in Cleveland this afternoon and the Dodgers fall at home to the Giants later tonight, San Diego will be in first place.