Last year I predicted the Mets would be World Series champs. Boy, was I wrong. I’m not prepared to be that bold this time around, but I will predict that the Mets make the playoffs. And once they are in, who knows what will happen?
The Mets will live and die with their starting pitching, obviously. So far everyone is healthy (except for Jason Vargas, whom I think will be a non-factor anyway). If they all retain their health, there is no reason why the Mets cannot go deep into October.
The bullpen looks strong. Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, A.J. Ramos and Anthony Swarzak are reliable veterans. Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and whomever fills out the pen should be fine.
The lineup looks solid as well. Michael Conforto (when he returns), Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier form a really solid foundation. And if Adrian Gonzalez can hit like he used to, there are not many lineups better than the one in Flushing. Add in Amed Rosario and Asdrubal Cabrera and that’s seven pretty good hitters. The weakness at catcher can be hidden, unless Travis d’Arnaud/Kevin Plawecki suddenly live up to their potential.
Sandy Alderson may have built a winner here. Of course, injuries have plagued this team for more than a decade now, helping dash the team’s hopes time and time again. The Mets tore down and rebuilt their medical team, so that’s a good start. But if the injury bug hits key players on the team once again, they are done.
But let’s not think about that. Let’s pencil the Mets in as NL East champs. Sure, the Nationals look better on paper, but they remain a dysfunctional team for some reason. That will continue into 2018. They will finish second, ahead of the Phillies, Braves and Marlins in that order.
But the Nats will be a Wild Card team, taking on the Rockies in that game. I predict the Brewers and Dodgers win their respective divisions. The Cubs are due for a fall.
Over in the American League, I say the stupid Yankees, Indians and Angels win their divisions. The Astros and the Mariners will be the Wild Cards (obviously I think the AL West will be strong this season). And I think the Mariners will finally make their first World Series. Or maybe the Angels.
Will the Mets join them? Maybe.