AnalysisNL East

Mets Season Preview

After a rather disappointing 2019 season, the New York Mets look to improve and make a push for the playoffs in a shortened 2020 campaign. Brodie Van Wagenen made a much-needed manager change, signed notable upgrades, while also allowing for the in-house talent to further develop and get healthy.

PECOTA Projections for Full 2020

86.9-75.1 record

2nd place in the NL East

30.6% chance of winning division (+/- 10%)

51.3% chance of making playoffs (+/- 10%)

PECOTA Projections as of 7/14/2020 (60 game season)

32.2-28.8 record

2nd Place in the NL East

33.4% chance of winning division

56.2% chance of making playoffs

The Mets’ chances of making the playoffs increased with a shortened season. As a team plagued with injuries year in and year out, a shortened season provides many opportunities for the pitching staff to be monitored and remain healthy, while the offense has fresh legs heading into a playoff push.

Offseason Moves

The Mets made some notable additions this past offseason:

  1. Signing Dellin Betances to a 1 yr, 10.5m deal (with a 6 million dollar player option for 2021).
  2. Signing Rick Porcello to a 1 yr, 10m deal.
  3. Signing Michael Wacha to a 1 yr, 3m deal.
  4. Signing Brad Brach to a 1 yr, 2.1m deal.

The Mets looked to upgrade the pitching staff this off-season. The biggest move made was the signing of Dellin Betances. One of the biggest problems in the 2019 season was bullpen reliability. Despite his injuries, Betances provides more depth in the bullpen and another option for the late innings. Porcello and Wacha, at the time of signing, seemed like a two-headed way to sustain the loss of Zack Wheeler, but with Syndergaard having Tommy John surgery, it seems like both will get meaningful innings in this 60 game season. Brad Brach was recently placed on the injured list for undisclosed reasons, but it is fair to assume he will not be ready for Opening Day.

Notable Losses

  1. Zack Wheeler (3.96 ERA, 195Ks, 4.7fWAR in 2019)

While the Mets lost other players, such as Juan Lagares, Luis Avilan, Joe Panik, and Todd Frazier, none had the impact in 2019 as Wheeler did. Wheeler proved himself to be a great number 3 starter for the Mets in 2019, and that is not easy to replace, especially as he posted 200 strikeouts as well.

Notable Injuries

  1. Noah Syndergaard (197.2 IP, 4.28 ERA, 4.4 fWAR in 2019).

It was made public in March that Noah Syndergaard would undergo Tommy John surgery, eliminating him from baseball for the 2020 season. While this blow is major, and he will be a hard asset to replace, the Mets have some depth and can roll out a few different options, namely Michael Wacha or Corey Oswalt. The production may not be as great, but with their bullpen upgrades, the Mets should be fine.

The Manager Issues

Shortly following the 2019 season, Mickey Callaway was fired as manager of the New York Mets. After what seemed to be a relatively short time, on November 8th, 2019, the Mets announced Carlos Beltran would be the next manager. As a well respected member of Major League Baseball, this seemed like a great signing. 8 days later, the Astros cheating scandal was announced, and on January 17th, 2020, just 2 months after being hired, a mutual decision was announced and Beltran was let go.

A short 5 days after that, Luis Rojas was announced to be the official manager of the New York Mets, signing a multiyear contract. Working in the Mets’ organization since 2007, he has a good relationship with a lot of the players on the club. He looks to lead the team into a deep playoff run, and hopefully a World Series in the near future.

Projected Starting Lineup (per Roster Resource)

C: Wilson Ramos

1B: Pete Alonso

2B: Robinson Cano

3B: Jeff McNeil

SS: Amed Rosario

LF: JD Davis

CF: Brandon Nimmo

RF: Michael Conforto

DH: Yoenis Cespedes

This lineup, on paper, looks like a top 5 lineup in the NL, if not in baseball. The Mets have a full lineup of players who can do damage. McNeil looks to improve on a stellar 2019 (143 WRC+, 4.6fWAR), while players like Cespedes (who is finally back in the lineup), can add some power in the middle of the lineup to support Alonso and Conforto.

After struggling in 2019 (114 WRC+, 1.3 fWAR), Brandon Nimmo looks to bounce back and help the team in more ways than just on defense. If Nimmo can do what he did in 2018, and sustain his defense in CF, the Mets are looking at another notable addition, but this one internally.

Projected Bench

C: Tomas Nido

C: Rene Rivera

INF: Luis Guillorme

INF: Eduardo Nunez

OF: Jake Marisnick

OF/1B: Dom Smith

Projected Rotation

SP1: Jacob DeGrom

SP2: Steven Matz

SP3: Michael Wacha

SP4: Rick Porcello

SP5: Erasmo Ramirez (subject to change)

With Marcus Stroman starting the season on the IL (as of 7-22), there is a new found rotation spot open for the team As of right now Erasmo Ramirez seems to be the front-runner from the teams perspective, but as a fan, I would like to see Seth Lugo slide into the rotation.

Projected Bullpen

CP: Edwin Diaz

SU: Dellin Betances

SU2: Seth Lugo

LHP: Justin Wilson

RHP: Jeurys Familia

RHP: Hunter Strickland

LHP: Daniel Zamora

RHP: Tyler Bashor

RHP: Paul Sewald

RHP: Corey Oswalt

My Biased Prediction

As a Mets fan, I think that this team, given a shortened season and who they are rolling out there, has the talent and the drive to make and win the World Series. Pitching is important in a shortened season, and the Mets made improvements to their already above-average bullpen. They also have a top 10 offense given everyone remains healthy. So my biased prediction is that the Mets beat the Rays in 6 games in the World Series.

My Realistic Prediction

I think that the Mets have all of the tools necessary to be great. But if history has proven anything it shows that the Mets get plagued by injuries year in and year out. I think that some injuries to key members of the team are inevitable, and that’ll keep other teams in the mix for playoff spots. I think the Mets will, realistically, go 34-26, giving them an equal record with the Washington Nationals atop the division, with the division and wild card solved by a tiebreaker.

In the playoffs, I think the Mets will struggle if/when they face the Dodgers, as they have by far the best team in the National League. I believe that in a realistic world, the Mets lose to the Dodgers in 5 games if they meet each other in the divisional round, or in 6 games if they meet in the Championship round.

The Mets have a really good team going into the 2020 season, but given the talent of the Yankees, Nationals, Rays, and Braves, they have a very difficult schedule this season and, to make a run at the playoffs, will have to play very good baseball from day 1.

Featured Image provided by: Needpix.com

Anthony Messineo

Mets Advocate. Fan of All things baseball. Contributor for Diamond Digest.

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