Players poll: Jacob deGrom top game seven starter, Yankee Stadium is toughest playoff environment

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The Athletic brought back its players poll as the 2022 playoffs draw closer, and the anonymous poll shows that the Yankees and Mets are expected to have some of the most impactful October contributors this postseason.

Nearly 200 players were polled by The Athletic, asking questions about who would be their top choice for a game seven starter, game seven closer, or potential game seven hero at the plate with the game on the line. The top choice for all three of those pivotal categories play their home games in New York.

Nearly 34 percent of players polled chose Jacob deGrom as their game seven starter in the World Series, with Max Scherzer coming in second at 17.2 percent. Notably, Gerrit Cole did not receive multiple votes from his peers, while Chris Sale, Yu Darvish, and Zac Gellen all received votes.

As for who would be the top choice to close out a game seven of the World Series, Edwin Diaz dominated the voting with a mark of 44.5 percent, with the next highest player being Josh Hader at 10.3 percent.

On the subject of who players would want at the plate for their team in game seven of the World Series with the game on the line, Aaron Judge was the top choice with 15.5 percent of the vote. Jeff McNeil got some love in the “receiving multiple votes” category, along with other stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto, and Jose Altuve.

The Yankees got more love when players were asked what the most intimidating place to play is during the playoffs, as Yankee Stadium received 43 percent of the vote.

“Those guys are the most ruthless fan base ever,” one player told The Athletic. “Those guys are mean. They don’t care who you are. Even if you are the home team, they hate you. I think [Joey] Gallo can attest to that.”

But when it came down to who they thought would win the World Series this year, the Yankees weren’t in the top four vote getters. The Dodgers were first, and the Mets were third at 14.5 percent.

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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