Dangerous Mets lineup may be the greatest strength in 2020
By Tim Boyle
Starting pitching has been the greatest strength of the New York Mets for years. In 2020, the bats may take over.
The story of the New York Mets for the last half-decade has been about its starting pitching. The organization has done a fine job at growing starting pitchers. Even in their worst seasons during the 2010s, the Mets could usually count on the starting pitching to keep games close.
The narrative is changing in 2020. While the team may again have one of the league’s best rotations, it’s their deadly lineup that could take over as the biggest reason why they’re successful.
We got our first glimpse of the new-look Mets in 2019. A full year of Jeff McNeil, the debut of Pete Alonso, and the continued growth of Amed Rosario should have opposing pitchers shaking in their cleats. Not to mention, we saw another impactful season out of Michael Conforto and the rise of J.D. Davis into a feared hitter.
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It’s tough to measure the 2019 season against others when considering how much offensive numbers exploded around baseball. Until we play out the 2020 season and see how things average out, we won’t fully know just how good last year’s squad was at the plate.
One through eight, the Mets hitters are a dangerous bunch. However you want to place them in the order, this team has the capacity to score a lot of runs.
At the top of the order, we can expect to see McNeil and Brandon Nimmo. Rosario may even get some opportunities depending on how hot his bat is. The team has plenty of options to set the table. It’s a luxury not all teams get.
In the middle of the lineup, we’ll found the team’s most powerful names. Alonso, Conforto, and Davis should get ample opportunities to drive in runs. Their presence also allows Wilson Ramos to slide somewhere around sixth in the order where he can benefit from hitting with runners on base.
Perhaps the one question mark this team may have about the 2020 lineup is where Robinson Cano fits in. I fully expect them to show the veteran respect early on and place him somewhere between three and six. If he performs poorly, they must not hesitate to push him down closer to the bottom.
There are a variety of options the Mets can go with when putting together a lineup. Even while ignoring their depth, the typical starting eight we will see should carry them through the season on days when the starting pitching just isn’t there.
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It’s a different look for the Mets in 2020. The starting pitching is still there, yes. The bats have finally caught up.