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New York Mets: What needs to happen to win big in 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 02: Jeff McNeil #6 and Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets celebrate a 7-3 victory against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 02: Jeff McNeil #6 and Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets celebrate a 7-3 victory against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 18: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves on June 18, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Starting Pitching

With the starting pitching being our biggest strength of our team, the health of our starters becomes the biggest factor in 2020. Some other items:

Jacob deGrom needs to be his usual consistent self and win 15 plus games (with hopefully some more run support).

Noah Syndergaard needs to continue his evolution from a thrower to a pitcher and also win 15 plus games. If we make the smart decision to use Nido as his personal catcher, Thor won’t allow as many stolen bases which seems to be his kryptonite.

Marcus Stroman needs to believe in his defense, stop nibbling with two strikes and realize that his not a strikeout pitcher. He needs to go back to pitching to soft contact as he did in his Toronto days and win 15 plus games.

A combination of Michael Wacha, Rick Porcello, and Steven Matz need to give the team 400 plus combined innings so we don’t have to overuse the bullpen.

It is nice that we finally have some starting pitching depth in 2020, so we don’t have to depend on AAAA guys like we did in 2019.

Bullpen

Our biggest weakness in 2019, needs to turn into a strength in 2020. Without Mickey Callaway around to misuse the bullpen, I do believe that pitchers Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia will both have bounce-back years in 2020 and lead the Mets into the playoffs.

The addition of Christmas present Dellin Betances adds much-needed depth to the bullpen, so hopefully, the rest of the pen doesn’t need to pitch on back to back days too often. I do think we still need another lefty to go along with Justin Wilson and if Wacha and Porcello do their jobs that 2nd lefty role may eventually go to Steven Matz.

Also, if Wilson, Matz, Brad Brach, and Robert Gsellman can all do their jobs as reliable bullpen pieces, it may allow Seth Lugo to go back into the starting rotation. I am well aware that Lugo was our best reliever last year, but he has stated pretty strongly that he wants to go back to being a starter and he does have the arsenal of pitches to be an effective starter in the major leagues.

That is a good problem to have and let’s see how that plays out during spring training and during the regular season. Whether Lugo is a starter, reliever or a little of both, I believe he should continue to provide solid innings as he did in 2019.

If the stars and planets align, everything breaks right and we don’t have to deal with many injuries, I do think the 2020 Mets can improve on their 86-76 record from 2019. But with the National League East looking to be the best division in baseball, we will need to improve by at least six wins and get our record to at least 92-70 to either win the division or make the playoffs as one of the two Wild Cards.

Next. Who did it better: Jacob deGrom or Dwight Gooden?

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Regardless of what happens, I can’t wait for the 2020 season to start so I can watch my favorite team play the greatest game in the history of sports on a daily basis.

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