The New York Mets have been a minor pleasant surprise so far this baseball season. They jumped out of the gate and have managed to stay at or above .500 ever since. But with an anemic offense that shows few signs of improving and injuries beginning to take a toll we begin to wonder how much longer they can keep their heads above water. Let’s see how SBRForum.com is handling the MLB picks for the New York Mets.
Meet the Mets
New York, after posting its third-straight losing season last year, then lost probably its best player, SS Jose Reyes, to division rival Miami. So the Mets entered this season looking for comebacks efforts from guys like SP Johan Santana and OF Jason Bay.
Photo by Michael G. Baron
As Opening Day approached the New Yorkers were figured to finish last in the NL East by most “experts.” According to SBR Forum’s MLB futures betting boards most online sportsbooks sent the Mets off as longshots of upwards of +6,000 to win the NL East this season. That’s 60/1 to win a five-team division.
New York was also pegged with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of right around 74.
However, despite these dour prospects, the Mets instead begin this week two games above .500 at 15-13, just three games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the NL East.
Basically, though, after starting 4-0, the Mets are only 11-13 since then.
The strength of this team is the 1-4 spots in its starting rotation. Santana, who missed all of last season after having shoulder surgery, is five-for-six in quality starts this year, with a 34/12 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 31 innings of work. Knuckleballer RA Dickey is 4-1 and also five-for-six in quality starts, and Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee combined own a 4.30 ERA and a 53/17 K/BB ratio.
As a staff their 17 quality starts ranks 12th in the Majors.
In a piece of bad news, though, the Mets have already lost SP Mike Pelfrey for the season to an elbow injury. But they are hopeful that Chris Young, the 6-10 former San Diego Padre who threw pretty good in four games for New York last year before hurting his shoulder, might join the rotation later this month.
Photo by Michael G. Baron
In a little more bad news New York’s bullpen ranks dead last in baseball in ERA at a generous 4.78. Newcomer Jon Rauch owns a 2.92 ERA but has blown a couple of saves, and closer Frank Francisco is seven-for-eight in save opportunities but his ERA sits at 6.00. Collectively New York’s pen has issued more walks than all but three other teams. How much longer can you stay above .500 when your bullpen ranks among the worst in baseball?
The Mets were not expected to score a lot of runs this season, they are not scoring a lot of runs, they will not score many runs, and that’s just the way it’s going to be. Without Reyes they really lack a spark, and the long ball is not part of their arsenal.
David Wright, after missing 60 games last year, is hitting .375 with 14 RBI and has more walks than strikeouts. Daniel Murphy is hitting .315. And Lucas Duda has hit four homers.
But that’s about it right now for the New York offense. The Mets rank sixth in the Majors in team OBP but 22nd in scoring at less than four runs per game. They’ve scored a total of 17 runs over their last six games. Jason Bay is already on the DL with a rib injury, and SS Ruben Tejada, who is hitting .305, tweaked a quad Sunday running down to first base. His status for this week is uncertain.
The Mets This Week
New York begins this week with a three-game series with the Phillies in Philly, then hits Miami for three games with the Marlins this weekend.
The Mets already took a series in Philadelphia earlier this season. But this week they’ll run into Roy Halladay on Monday and Cliff Lee on Wednesday.
According to the SBR Forum MLB betting odds page most online sportsbooks are offering New York at upwards of +175 for Monday night’s game vs. Halladay. The Mets are also +195 dogs to win that series in Philly.
New York swept three games from Miami three weeks ago, holding the Fish to four runs total in the series.
Finally, the Mets are now getting right around 25/1 at most online sportsbooks to win the NL East this season.