Michael Carballeira, Contributor
Spring training games are finally completed, rosters are set and we are ready for some regular season baseball. The best part about this is New York Mets baseball is finally back and we have a lot of returns to watch for in the rotation as well as the lineup.
A lot to look forward to this season and we thought it would start with the young arms of the rotation finally all pitching together for the first time but that got held up as Zack Wheeler was optioned to Triple-A to start the season.
A positive for the rotation though is Noah Syndergaard is back and he will be on the mound Opening Day for the Amazin’s. Syndergaard is coming off a shortened season in 2017 due to injury but looks to rebound and help bring the Mets back to the playoffs. Syndergaard enters this season with a 2.89 career ERA and needs to keep it around there to be the catalyst for this rotation. With a new strength and condition coach, I see Syndergaard to be back to top form and also be in the running for a Cy Young award this season.
Another big return from an injury-plagued season is outfield slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes who is having a hot spring while batting .324 with 6 long balls and 10 runs batted in looks to be the centerpiece of this Mets lineup again. Like Syndergaard, a reason for his injuries last year were due to intense training workouts but the new yoga-friendly Cespedes is trying to be back to his old flexible self and also wants that MVP trophy!
A healthy Mets team this season could surprise a lot of people. Keep in mind they were in the World Series three years ago and a Wild Card appearance two years back so the hunger is there. Expect this team, if healthy, to finish around the 85-77 mark this year and a Wild Card berth. The Mets have arguably the best 1-2 punch in the league in Syndergaard-deGrom and that’s going to be huge for them to succeed. That doesn’t mean the rest of the rotation can slack off, every piece of this rotation is key especially the back end of the rotation for guys like Harvey and Matz.
A player to watch out for this season I believe is the young shortstop Amed Rosario. Rosario is having himself a nice spring batting .313 with a .353 OBP and a .542 SLG percentage. What I see is when Conforto comes back Rosario is going to take the leadoff spot in the lineup and let Conforto get to the spot of the line up where he belongs and can rack up the RBI total.
Micah Gentin, Contributor
The 2018 Mets will have a fun and emotional season. They will start the year hot, coming out of April 1st in the NL East. The team will survive a season ending injury to Steven Matz in May, and be within 3 games of the Nats by the All Star Break.
The Mets will fall slowly away from Washington through august, but hold on to the second wild card, finishing 86-76. They will win the NL wild card game in Arizona with Noah Syndergaard on the mound. Newly retired David Wright throws out the 1st pitch of game 3, but the Mets lose the NLDS to the eventual World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. Mickey Callaway wins Manager of the Year for guiding the Mets to the playoffs.
Noah Syndergaard will lead the MLB in strikeouts
Matt Harvey will have a sub 3.50 ERA
Yoenis Cespedes will hit 40 home runs
Adrian Gonzalez won’t hit 10 home runs.
Going to be a great year! Let’s hope my prediction is wrong.