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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MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 19: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers scores a run off an RBI double hit by Ryan Braun #8 against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 19, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Brewers

Lineup

  1. Lorenzo Cain CF
  2. Christian Yelich RF
  3. Jesus Aguilar 1B
  4. Travis Shaw 3B
  5. Ryan Braun LF
  6. Mike Moustakas 2B
  7. Yasmani Grandal C
  8. Orlando Arcia SS

Rotation

  1. Jhoulys Chacin
  2. Chase Anderson
  3. Zach Davies
  4. Brandon Woodruff
  5. Corbin Burnes

The Brewers were a single win away from reaching the World Series in 2018, so there is no doubt that they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2019. They have a lineup with the same principal structure as last season, except for the addition of Yasmani Grandal at catcher.

Christian Yelich is a blossoming superstar with supreme talent at the plate and in the field. He has an innate ability to reach base via the walk or by getting hits. His ability to hit line drives is unparalleled and in a ballpark such as Miller Park in Milwaukee, his even swing can often lend itself to extra home runs.

Lorenzo Cain is the perfect leadoff hitter for this group as he not only can reach base at an extensive clip, but he has the rare ability to avoid strikeouts. Therefore, on would be strikeouts pitches he is fouling pitches off to stay alive. This is especially beneficial to the Brewers because he is doing this from the first slot in the lineup, frustrating the opposing pitcher from the onset of the game.

A bench full of depth is also a key for the Brewers as Eric Thames, Hernan Perez, Manny Pina, Ben Gamel, and Corey Spangenberg would find everyday roles on many teams. Having these players in supplementary roles is even more important because Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, and Mike Moustakas will need days off. A flexible team is always better off for it.

The starting pitching rotation is not exactly one that stands out, but none of the five starters is poor and they all can find ways to contribute. Corbin Burnes is the x-factor here because he can truly evolve into a dynamic starter that would change the landscape of the NL Central and NL Wild Card races. Burnes has a high-octane fastball along with an assortment of pitchers including a pretty solid slider.

Last season the young righty was a revelation for the Brew Crew down the stretch and in the postseason, as was Brandon Woodruff, both exceeding expectations in the bullpen. The 2019 bullpen has a large amount of depth as well. A triumvirate of Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Corey Knebel highlight a bullpen that is stacked and will pay many dividends through a long and arduous season.

While the Brewers may not have the singular talents or dominant forces such as the other teams on this list, they do absolutely possess the best depth in rotation, bullpen, and lineup. This can prove to be a vital tool in a likely contentious NL Wild Card battle.

Along the same lines, the Mets’ moves for depth this offseason will provide to be an asset in the same way as the Brewers. Similar to the Rockies, the Brewers will not be an easy team to catch in a playoff race, thus the Mets must keep pace. While the field is looking tough, the strains of the season and some fortune can put the Mets in a good spot because their team is indeed improved.

Next. Was Familia the right choice for the Mets?

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Regardless of the obviously difficult task, the Mets are not an easy opponent for any of these teams and can prove this by battling with them through the duration of the season.

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