Best Case Scenario
The best case scenario for Wheeler is a simple one, live up to the lofty standards he has set for himself. After Wheeler’s electric second-half, expectations could not possibly be higher. Hyperbolic or not, if there were a second-half all-star game, Wheeler could have been the starting pitcher for the NL.
And yes, that includes possibly beating out the herculean deGrom.
The most obvious indicator as to how he was able to turn around his season so effectively was the impressive return of his pre-surgery velocity. His average four-seamer velocity dipped to below 95MPH at a point in the first half of 2018 but skyrocketed back up to over 96MPH, a pre-surgery figure. Maintaining that velocity throughout the stretch-run is a great sign that Wheeler will be able to retain those numbers for the season ahead.
If Wheeler can maintain his flamethrowing velocity, matched with actually being on the Mets come opening day, hopefully with an extension already signed (I’m looking at you, Brodie), the former phenom can make good on the promise of his promise.
As for what this promise can practically translate to? A top five Cy Young finish, of course. Realistically, we can’t assume Wheeler will consistently put up those 2018 second-half numbers but a sub 2.50 ERA is viable.