I think the Mets are here to stay. With three possible MVP candidates in David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes and a solid pitching staff, I don’t see anyone dethroning them in the NL East. With that being said, whether this team can do much damage in the playoffs is yet to be determined. My guess is that the Cardinals will still be tough to trump in the National League pennant race.
The Mets pitching staff is not the best in baseball, but it has two key ingredients: experience and balance. Tom Glavine proved that he still has it last season with 15 wins which puts him right at the door step of 300. Despite injuries to guys like Pedro Martinez and Victor Zambrano, the Mets rotation still exceeded expectations with great work from John Maine, Orlando Hernandez, and Oliver Perez. With three lefties and two righties making up the starting five, the Mets have a nice balance to keep giving teams new looks in three and four-game series’. If Pedro can get healthy, he’ll only make this rotation stronger.
They don’t get any better than Billy Wagner in the Pen. He was 40-for-45 in converting save opportunities during the regular season. This guy doesn’t get batters out, he strikes them out. He tallied 22 more strikeouts than innings last season. The Mets will hope that he can steady his shaky playoffs performances, however, as he could be key in getting to the World Series.
How would you like to have David Wright as your number five hitter? Most teams in the league would love to have him as their number three hitter. Wright may move into the two-hole this season, but regardless of where he hits, the Mets have a menacing lineup. With Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Delgado, Alou, and Green, we will see uncanny power numbers once again. I didn’t even mention Lo Duca who is a great contact hitter at the catcher position.
Everything is going in the right direction for the Mets. A new stadium is on its way, cable revenue is way up, and the perfect blend of young talent and veteran stars should give Mets fans plenty of reasons to support their team. But after coming up short of the World Series in 2006, the Mets will have a lot of pressure to carry around on their shoulders to get to the Series. I don’t think a division title will be enough to keep Mets management or their fans happy. Winning makes you greedy which is why the Yankees fans from across town do not except anything less than winning it all every year. Anything less than a World Series title will be considered a failure in 2007.
Jimmy Boyd is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/Jimmy_Boyd.htm