The New York Mets were unjustly ranked eighth by MLB.com in their beginning of the year power rankings.
Baseball fans rejoice! MLB.com recently released their first official power rankings of the 2021 season. While this is an exciting sign of baseball’s imminent return, fans of the New York Mets will notice their team in an intriguing position.
The Mets currently sit as the number eight overall team in MLB.
While this is a breath of fresh air for a franchise that was absent from the top of these rankings for most of the 2020 campaign, it begs the obvious question that has been plaguing sports ranks for centuries: Did the rankings get it right?
The Major Beef
For the record, the Mets rank behind NL powerhouses Dodgers and Padres. This is hardly a source of contention due to the wealth of talent on each roster. The Dodgers retain a stacked depth chart that led them to na World Series title last season. San Diego on the other hand, has been extremely aggressive to add to their young core. Both deserve their spot atop the Mets.
However, the newly revamped, Cohen-era, Mets also fail to land the top spot in their own division. That distinction goes to the rival Atlanta Braves, who chime in a full four sports better than New York (#4 overall).
To be fair, the Braves are the reigning NL East champs. They also have a dynamic, young, offense with explosive potential. However, they also have a young and unproven pitching staff and bullpen. Additionally, the Mets have had a vastly superior offseason.
The Mets have added former All-Stars in Marcus Stroman and James McCann, as well as several other important pieces. Atlanta has added a 37-year-old Charlie Morton and an historically streaky Drew Smyly.
Both franchises remain in play for scale tipping free agents. The Mets are still top contenders for reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer and three-time All-Star George Springer. Inversely, the Braves are still aiming to retain All-Star Marcell Ozuna.
While much of their final projects lie with their free agency fate, it appears as though the Mets have done enough to catch and possibly surpass their biggest rivals. There’s an argument to be made that the defending champs have earned a slight edge. But the gap here is far too large considering each teams potential in 2021.
The Minor Beef
The fact that the Oakland Athletics are ranked above the Mets is also a surprise. The A’s have been a model of postseason consistency throughout the past several seasons. However, their franchise cornerstone Matt Chapman is coming off major surgery, while veterans Marcus Semien and Liam Hendriks are pending free agents. The A’s still project as a good team, but it would be a major disappointment if New York does not finish the season as a better team.
The Mets have the potential to be a great team as things currently stand. If they are able to add another All-Star and quality starter, they may even crack tier of National League favorites. While the franchise must prove themselves on the field, the presence of owner Steve Cohen have them on the potential for greatness.
Their biggest hurdle will be supplanting the Braves and the rest of the NL East competitors. If things break right, they should have no trouble cracking the top five. And possibly higher!
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What are your thoughts on the Mets #8 overall ranking?