The New York Mets are off to an 8-7 start over their first fifteen games. The starting pitching has been dominant for the most part and the bullpen has been solid overall. However, a lot of Mets fans are worried that this season will resemble when the Wilpons owned the team; a season filled with dominant pitching but a lack of run support for it. So far this has been true, as the Mets are ranked 28th in runs per game in the early going of the season, averaging only 3.40 runs per game. They also have already wasted two Jacob deGrom gems. That said, there is no reason to fret about the slow start on offense by this team.
The Mets offense has been very deceitful due to the amount of runs they have scored. Truth is that they have been close to a top-12 offense overall when looking at the other stats. They are currently ranked 8th in baseball in batting average and 5th in on-base percentage. Brandon Nimmo is helping lead the team to these rankings, as he personally has a .408 average and a .491 OBP. The Mets also are middle of the pack or better in a lot of other stats as well: they currently rank 12th in team WRC+, and 14th in wOBA. The plate discipline for the team as a whole has also been really good. They are walking 9.4% of the time, which is good for 13th in the league, but are only striking out 22.1% of the time, which is the fifth lowest rate across baseball. Overall, they are 6th in walk-to-strikeout rate. All of this points to the fact that the bats should fully awaken soon and start to produce runs.
Two things have been holding the Mets back from converting those numbers into runs. Hitting home runs has been an issue for this team, as they are 24th in slugging percentage, but the Mets are just outside the top half for OPS at 17th. The second major obstacle for the Mets has been how they have been performing with runners in scoring position. This has been a consistent problem for the team when they have had issues scoring runs in the past. It is very true again this season. Through 15 games, the Mets rank 29th in the league in batting average with RISP, hitting just .195 in these situations.
The latter issue could be persistent throughout the year, although it is unlikely. The former issue, however, shouldn’t be. This is the friendly reminder that the Mets lineup is stacked. All eight of their starters posted a WRC+ above 115 in 2020 and above 100 in 2019. Four members also had a WRC+ above 100 in 2018, and three of those (Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Michael Conforto) had multiple seasons above 100 prior to that. The current Mets lineup was designed to hit, and it should. Most starters are off to cold starts, but this team truly has a lineup of guys that can provide both average and power.
Runs are important. But so is getting on base to set up runs, which the Mets have done. The Mets have a lineup that will pick itself up. With the plate discipline the team has shown as well as the ability to get on base, the runs will come. So will the power. There truly is no reason to worry about the slow start of the offense, especially only 15 games in.