With Opening Day just a day away, it is time for my annual predictions (I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath). Will the season end with a parade up the Canyon of Heroes? Let’s discuss.
Let’s get one thing out of the way — the Mets are a much better team than they were last season and have a very good chance of making the postseason. They are stronger at first, second, catcher and the bullpen. The starting pitching might actually be getting better (despite Jason Vargas). They are not really weaker at any position (although the outfield could probably use another bat).
But then there are the buts. Can we really count on a 36-year-old Robinson Cano apparently playing without the boost from PEDs? Are Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil really the real deals? Can Wilson Ramos stay healthy? Will Jed Lowrie be a $20 million black hole? Can Jacob deGrom be superb again (and hopefully win more than 10 games)? Was Zack Wheeler’s second half just a fluke? We could go on and on.
The fact is, every team has its questions. If the Mets play up to their potential, this could be a special year. So let’s pencil them in as the NL East champions. The Nationals will underachieve as usual. Bryce Harper was not the only new acquisition for the Phillies, but he was certainly the biggest, and he could never get the Nats over the hump. So why should things be different up 95? The Braves will be good. But the Mets will be better.
As far as the rest of the league — the Cardinals and Dodgers will win their respective divisions, with the Brewers and Rockies as Wild Cards (screw the Phillies and Nationals!).
Over in the American League, the Red Sox, Twins and Astros will win their respective divisions (boy, the AL Central is terrible) and the Yankees and Angels will be the Wild Cards.
So who will meet in Fall Classic. Let’s put the Mets in there, just because. And since we’re apparently going with out hearts over our heads, let’s make this a Subway Series. And the players on the floats up Broadway? Let’s just say they are not wearing pinstripes.