- Carlos Beltran no longer New York Mets manager after never even managing the team in one game
- Mets have seen World Series odds improve substantially in the last month
- Team still has a number of holes to take care of to realistically contend in the coming season
On the day that Carlos Beltran became Major League Baseball’s version of former Notre Dame football head coach George O’Leary, departing his post after never having taken charge of so much as a practice, his former team the New York Mets have been left in something of a bind.
With the nine-time MLB all-star merely the latest person to fall foul of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, the Mets are now in the hunt for a new skipper. But while the timing is not optimal – with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month – before the axe fell on Beltran, the Mets’ 2020 World Series odds were on a high, having improved from an average of +2167 on Dec. 20 to +1767 today.
While getting a new manager has quickly risen to the top of New York’s to-do list heading into the 2020 season, the Mets’ chances of success in the coming campaign will be affected by more than just who is in charge of the team.
2020 World Series Odds
|New York Yankees||+350|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+600|
|New York Mets||+1400|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1600|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2000|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2000|
Odds taken 01/16/20
Getting Bullish on the Bullpen?
To say New York’s bullpen was woeful in 2019 would almost be an understatement. The Mets’ relievers posted a combined 4.99 ERA, good for just 25th overall in the majors, along with blowing 27 saves, which placed it 22 out of 30 teams.
While Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen will be hoping from bounce back years from the likes of Edwin Diaz (who went from a major-league-leading 57 saves in 2018 with the Mariners to just 26 a year later), they felt the need to bring in reinforcements.
Edwin Diaz has now allowed 14 9th inning HR this season, tying Francisco Rodriguez (2014 with Brewers) for the most such HR allowed in a season in MLB history.
The Mets have now allowed 31 9th inning HR this season, the most such HR allowed by a team in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/wGCXij0guy
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 7, 2019
Those include signing former Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, who despite an injury marred 2019 campaign still possesses a 2.36 career ERA. The team will also hope that Seth Lugo can continue his positive season from a year ago, when his 2.70 ERA was far and away the best mark among the team’s relievers.
Without question the biggest loss the Mets endured this off-season was that of Zack Wheeler, the veteran right-hander, who went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 2019. The fact that he went to the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies only makes the loss more unpalatable.
Low and in. ?
High heat. ?
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 5, 2019
Mets management went out and signed Michael Wacha and former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello to pick up the slack, but other than being fairly reliable innings-eaters, their ERAs both crept up to 4.76 and 5.52, respectively, last year.
Increased Run Production
To have any hope of reaching the promised land of the postseason, the Mets will simply have to score more runs. They finished with the seventh most runs scored in the National League (791) and finished sixth overall in the NL.
The top three teams in the NL, however, were also the top three run-scoring teams in the league.
Rookie Pete Alonso was the only player with more than 100 runs scored (103), while Michael Conforto finished second on the team (90). Coincidentally, those two were also the only two to drive in more than 90 runs, with 120 and 92 respectively.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 21, 2019
For the Mets to contend, and with a shaky bullpen, they will need to join the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves at the sharp end of the run-scoring department.
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