New York Mets News

New York Mets biggest competition for a playoff spot this season

By Joseph Romano
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 05: Ball and gloves of the New York Mets sit in the dugout before a game against the Washington Nationals at Digital Domain Park on March 5, 2012 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Nationals defeated the Mets 3-1. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 05: Ball and gloves of the New York Mets sit in the dugout before a game against the Washington Nationals at Digital Domain Park on March 5, 2012 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Nationals defeated the Mets 3-1. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images) /
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Mets
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 07: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies high fives teammates during introductions before the start of Game Three of the National League Division Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on October 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Colorado Rockies

Lineup

  1. Charlie Blackmon CF
  2. Daniel Murphy 1B
  3. Nolan Arenado 3B
  4. Trevor Story SS
  5. David Dahl RF
  6. Ian Desmond LF
  7. Chris Iannetta C
  8. Garrett Hampson 2B

Rotation

  1. German Marquez
  2. Kyle Freeland
  3. Jon Gray
  4. Tyler Anderson
  5. Antonio Senzatela

The Mets will face an onslaught of teams in the wild-card race if the Nats do indeed win the NL East title. One of such teams is the Colorado Rockies, who were victorious in the NL Wild Card game last season after just missing out on the NL West title.

Coors Field is very beneficial to their explosive lineup, as outs become singles, singles become doubles, and doubles become triples due to the cavernous stadium’s expansive gaps. Charlie Blackmon, Daniel Murphy, Nolan Arenado, and Trevor Story all have massive amounts of power, so their averages and slugging percentages resultantly rise.

The loss of a player proficient in batting average, such as D.J. Lemehieu, will somewhat create a hole near the top of the lineup. He is essentially being replaced by Daniel Murphy, who will tally quite a few extra base hits in the aforementioned spacious gaps of Coors Field. Murphy is just not a player that would not reach base at the same rate as the man he is replacing.

D.J. Lemehieu’s bat is not the only thing the Rockies will be lacking, as his excellent glove and range at second base will be replaced by the uncertainty of Garrett Hampson and eventually Brendan Rodgers. The two prospects are young and have a potentially higher upside than the former gold glove second baseman, but that upside is likely not going to arrive by this season. For example, Trevor Story, after having some initial success, faltered much and did not gain his current form until his third season.

Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are near certainties at this juncture and Trevor Story and David Dahl are inevitably going to improve upon very successful 2018 campaigns. Daniel Murphy, although he was injured for much of 2018, regained his health and his form in the stretch run. Over the last three months, Murphy’s lowest batting average was .290 and lowest OPS was .786. The most impressive part of this was that Murphy was able to maintain a typical output over three months after initial struggles due to his knee issues.

Jon Gray’s 2018 performance was as volatile as it can get, while Kyle Freeland and Germain Marquez’s consistency anchored a staff that led the Rockies to the NLDS. Bud Black‘s rotation is young and rife with the potential to become even better in 2019, but more consistency from Gray would be very welcome.

The Rockies bullpen is productive and has a decent bit of depth, but losing star reliever Adam Ottavino is bound to have a significant effect. The Rockies will be strong contenders for the 2019 NL Wild Card and the Mets must keep pace with them in order to reach the postseason if they are indeed in the depths of the wild card race.

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