The New York Mets rotation seems practically settled after the signing of Sean Manaea as a back-end rotation option. Unlike the 2023 season, the Mets have taken the route of signing pitchers in short-term deals with upside to keep the team competitive during the 2024 season.
Beyond Kodai Senga and Sean Manaea, the rotation has three other pitchers in the final year of their contract looking to reestablish their market value before entering free agency. In a rotation with potential but with a high risk of injury, these would be the bold predictions for each of the starters for this season.
Kodai Senga will lead the National League in ERA
Baseball is constantly changing and the result of the shift limitation is an example of the impact of MLB's decisions on pitching. The ball seems to be running more, and it is demonstrated in the increase in the batting average and the babip collectively and individually, affecting the ERA of the pitchers in a general way.
Although there aren't many starting pitchers with ERAs below 3.00, in the National League's top 10 pitchers as measured by WAR, Kodai Senga finished second in ERA only to Blake Snell's impressive campaign. After an adaptation first half of the season for Senga, the Japanese managed to finish the second half with an ERA of 2.58, one of the best among eligible pitchers.
Senga's efficiency during his month-over-month improvement is due to hitters' dominance through his signature pitch, the forkball. Through the so-called Ghost Forkball, Senga achieved a swing-and-miss percentage of 59.5, number nine among all pitchers in the entire MLB and number one in the league among starting pitchers.
With the experience of a first season in MLB and his adaptation to the ball used in the USA, Senga predicted himself as one of the top pitchers in the league by 2024. Through the use of the forkball and the improvement in his other pitches, Kodai Senga could finish with the best ERA in the National League and be a strong candidate for the Cy Young Award.