The biggest surprise team this season in the major leagues? Well that would be the New York Mets according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson doesn’t think it’s that crazy of a though either, “Look, the Nationals have a good team and I’d expect them to be favored, but we beat them in ‘15 with a similar cast of characters. We can do it again.’’
The Mets won the National League East in 2015 and went to the World Series before falling short against the Kansas City Royals. The Nationals won only 83 games in 2015 and fell apart down the stretch to fall out of a playoff spot.
Of course the large portion of the team that is still on the Mets from 2015 is the starting rotation. Problem is Matt Harvey and Steven Matz aren’t the same pitchers they were and Noah Syndergaard only threw 30 innings last year.
If the Mets have any hopes of winning the division again it will fall heavily on the arms aforementioned as well as Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom. It’s not just the pitching coming off injuries though – Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes also missed significant time last season.
Most of the talk from fans, other writers and the Mets themselves this offseason has been exactly that, if they can stay healthy they can certainly contend.
That’s exactly what Jay Bruce told Nightengale, “If we can stay healthy, we got a damn good chance to beat anybody.”