With Opening Day for the Mets less than a mere 48 hours away my excitement, I’m sure like most of you, is through the roof! While this season is going to look very different in multiple ways from previous seasons, at the end of the day it’s still the game we love and we are happy to have back. With that being said, here are five bold predictions I’m forecasting for the Mets 2020 abbreviated season.
1). Jacob DeGrom Will Three-Peat.
You heard that right. Jacob DeGrom will complete the historic feat of completing a three-peat for the National League Cy Young Award. We can expect to see around 12-14 starts for the 32-year old ace who is still in the midst of his prime this season. While he has been battling a bout of back tightness over the last week, he did toss a simulated game on Sunday which allowed him to throw 60 pitches to get him ready for Friday’s Opening Day Start. Based on his current health I don’t see DeGrom going over 100 pitches for his first two starts of the season, but he has consistently shown he can be just as effective even on a limited pitch count. I believe DeGrom is embracing the role of possibly having to carry this rotation on his back with the loss of Noah Syndergaard to injury and Zack Wheeler to the Phillies. If there is anybody in baseball I would put my money on to deliver under pressure it’s Jacob DeGrom. With that being said I believe he puts together another Cy Young Award winning season under his belt when it’s all said and done. 10 wins with a 2.20 ERA are the numbers that I believe gets it done.
2.) Edwin Diaz Rebounds With 20 Saves.
One of the biggest question marks coming into this season has been which version of Edwin Diaz are the Mets getting? There may not be another player on the Mets roster feeling the pressure that the 26-year old closer is facing. After having his worst statistical season of his career last year after coming over from the Seattle Mariners in a blockbuster trade, Diaz simply flamed out. I previously highlighted ways that I think Diaz can potentially rebound this year, which you can read more about here. In his lone exhibition appearance, Diaz had displayed a fastball that was touching 97 mph and that looked to have better location on Saturday night against the New York Yankees. There is no doubt that there was also some bad luck involved with Diaz’s 2019 campaign, but I do believe this year he bounces back and becomes the closer the Mets envisioned they were receiving last offseason. I believe Diaz gives the Mets 20 saves, with an ERA around 2.50, which hovers with his career average ERA back in Seattle which was 2.67. Also is there a player that benefits more than having no fans in the stands on the Mets roster than Edwin Diaz?
3.) Pete Alonso Will Lead The League in Home Runs.
The 25-year old first baseman jumped on the big stage last season by only slugging 53 home runs (a rookie record) with 120 RBI’s to go with it, while also winning the Home Run Derby, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award, and being named a National League All-Star, all in his rookie season! Many are left to ask what can Polar Pete accomplish in 2020? The answer to that question is easy. Helping the Mets reach the postseason. The Mets have not made the postseason since 2016, and while they came awfully close last season after making a run in the second half of the season, it ultimately fell short. However, Alonso is surrounded by as deep of a batting lineup that he could ask for which will give him ample opportunites this season to mash, especially with Luis Rojas possibly hitting Alonso second in the lineup. It will be very hard to pitch around Alonso this season if the lineup produces as expected. I do believe the batting lineup will be one of the best in baseball throughout the season, allowing Alonso to lead the league in home runs with 25.
4.) The Mets Are Active At The Trade Deadline.
While I don’t believe we will see many blockbuster deals this season, I do believe many teams will see themselves as contending for a championship, and there will be many moving parts around the Trade Deadline. Brodie Van Wagenen seems to always be looking to make a deal or find ways to improve the ball club, and if the Mets are in a tight race come August 31st, I can envision the Mets making a deal for a potential need. Potential needs could include another starting pitcher or another bat off the bench. For example, I can see the Mets grabbing a starting pitcher like Jeff Samardzija if the back of the rotation is not holding up to standard as we approach the deadline in August.
5.) The Mets Make The Postseason.
FINALLY! The Mets are playing in what could be deemed the toughest division in baseball. They also have the toughest schedule in baseball coming right out of the gate. However this team has nice balance of veteran presence and youth that many contending teams possess. They also ended last season as one of the best teams in baseball which they will look to continue to build upon in 2020. With a deep lineup, the best pitcher in baseball, and one of the deepest bullpens in baseball, the Mets are set up to make some major noise in the National League this season. I believe the Mets will win the division by a game, with the Braves and Nationals following directly behind and battling for the NL Wild Card. This division I believe will come down to one of the final two games of the season, which goes to show you how every game will matter this season. P.S. We can’t afford to waste any of Jacob DeGrom’s starts this season!
Bonus: Jed Lowrie will not play a game for the New York Mets in 2020.
It’s a very unfortunate situation and this should come as a surprise to no one at this point. With Lowrie being recently placed again on the Injured List and with the return of the mystery surrounding what exactly his leg issues are, you can certainly forecast Lowrie not playing a single game in 2020. This story is unfortunatley too familiar to Mets fans and it will go down as $20 million burned for only nine regular season at-bats.