Pitching and defense. Those two aspects of the game have become the foundations of New York Mets baseball and what has propelled them to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time this decade. Rest assured, armed with one of the best pitching staffs in the game, we’ll get another winning season in 2017.
This will largely be the same team we saw in 2016 as the Mets didn’t exactly make waves in the free-agent market by bringing in new names, but they did lock up Yoenis Cespedes, which is by far the most significant transaction of the offseason for the club.
The Mets have made postseason appearances the previous two seasons. They lost the 2015 World Series 4-1 against the Kansas City Royals and were dispatched by the San Francisco Giants in the National League wild-card game last season. Is that a sign of the Mets regressing? Nah. However, with the Washington Nationals looking like an extremely stiff test in the National League East, 2017 is set to be an interesting season in the Big Apple.
Speaking of which, here’s a look at their futures odds for the upcoming MLB campaign.
World Series +1400
The Mets are the fifth National League team on the board at +1400 behind the Chicago Cubs (+450), Los Angeles Dodgers (+1000), Nationals (+1100) and San Francisco Giants (+1100).
Again, pitching will be key for this team if they are going to make a run at it. The pitching staff boasted the third-best ERA in the bigs last season and ranks at or near the top in the senior circuit in virtually every pitching category you can throw out there.
If talented arms like Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed are as effective as they were last season, this team can go places. Top to bottom, you can put the Mets staff up against any from across the MLB landscape.
The offense, however, really just lags a little compared with most of the teams ahead of them on the futures board. The Mets are in the bottom third of NL offenses when it comes to stats like runs, batting average and on-base percentage. Oddly enough, they only trailed the St. Louis Cardinals in home runs in the NL and we could see more of the long ball if we get full seasons out of Jay Bruce and Lucas Duda.
This team has the pieces to make a serious run at the World Series. I think the Mets are better than one or two NL clubs in front of them on the futures board so I like the price here in late March.
National League Pennant +800
The Mets’ postseason was short-lived as they lost 3-0 to the Giants in the National League wild-card game. The club would have felt shortchanged from a season that saw them win 87 games and get home field in that meeting with the Giants.
The Cubbies are easily the class of the National League, having posted a memorable World Series win over the Cleveland Indians last fall, but a futures bet on the Mets at +800 wouldn’t go amiss in my opinion.
Minor improvements in some offensive statistics throughout the lineup – an uptick in on-base percentage could do this team wonders considering the home runs they hit – would definitely help post a few more wins and take this team to the next level.
The Mets have really, really cut their teeth in the past couple of postseasons and a return to the Fall Classic is a real possibility.
NL East +160
Much like the previous three seasons, the East comes down to the Nats and Mets. The two clubs have been the top two teams in the division over the last three seasons and 2017 looks to be no different.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are both in rebuild mode and just not there yet and the Miami Marlins should be on the outside looking in once again.
Injuries have really thrown a wrench into the Mets’ goals in recent seasons and considering David Wright and the aforementioned Duda missed so much time last season, yet the club still got as far as it did, does speak volumes. No team is ever 100 percent healthy wire-to-wire, but if the injury gods are more kind to this team in 2017, a division title might be just the first cause for celebration in Queens.
OVER/UNDER win total 88.5
This is a good number for the Mets considering they won 87 last year and 90 in their NL East-winning 2015 season and I like them to eclipse that number in 2017, though not by much.
Although both the Braves and Phillies should be improved, I think the Mets rack up more wins versus the NL East than they did last year. New York went just 40-36 in the division last year and a lackluster 12-21 against the NL West so I think we see an uptick in production there.
Again, this largely comes down to health. We know the pitching is exceptional and the lineup is solid enough but keeping integral pieces around from beginning to end is vital. On paper, right now, in March, this is a 90-win team.
Noah Syndergaard to win NL Cy Young +1000
At this price? Yes please!
Thor was brilliant in 2016, posting a 14-9 record, 2.60 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, fanning 10.68 hitters per nine and achieving an MLB pitcher-best 6.5 WAR (according to FanGraphs) in 2016. All this at just 24 years old! So +1000 to win the National League Cy Young is a pretty good price before the first pitch of the season is thrown.
Ahead of him are Clayton Kershaw (+160) and Max Scherzer (+350) and Madison Bumgarner is sitting at the same price. All good pitchers, no doubt, but considering the trajectory we’ve seen with Syndergaard, 2017 forecasts to be something special.
Scherzer won it last year with Syndergaard, for some bizarre reason, finishing eighth in the voting. While seemingly not the type to be motivated by personal accolades from the BBWAA, Syndergaard might be pitching with a chip on his shoulder. Which is a scary thought for the rest of the league.
|National League Pennant||+800|
|National League East||+160|
Odds as of March 21 at Bovada