LA-NY rivalry heats up with 4 first-place teams

May 3rd, 2022

New York and Los Angeles. Two of the biggest and most famous sports cities in the world. And now, for the first time, the biggest pillars of the baseball world.

Heading into Tuesday, the Yankees and Mets own the top two spots in the AL and NL East, while out West, the Angels and Dodgers are leading their divisions. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time in MLB history that all four New York and Los Angeles teams have led their respective divisions more than one game into the season.

While it may be a bit jarring that it took over fifty years -- the East and West divisions were implemented in 1969 -- the success of each team hasn’t been linear. During that span, each team has finished in first place multiple times and won at least one World Series title, but they've never all finished the same season atop their respective divisions.

Now, each team looks like a force, all at the same time. The Mets have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, the Yankees are scary at the plate, the Angels have been a pleasant surprise through the first month of the season and the Dodgers are once again World Series favorites.

The two-city dominance might not last long, though, as the Dodgers face the Giants with the division lead on the line on Tuesday. As always, it’s not about who’s in the lead in May, but who’s in the lead heading into October.