2. Jacob deGrom
It's no secret that the Mets are relying heavily on Jacob deGrom to be Jacob deGrom. They need him to be the best pitcher in the game. It all starts with him actually being on the field. There were a bevy of injury issues that plagued deGrom's season and cut his historic first half to be all we saw from him.
deGrom went 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA in 15 first-half starts. He struck out 14.3/9, pumping 100 mph fastballs by everyone. He walked just 1.1 batters per nine and allowed just 3.9 H/9. The bottom line is what Jacob deGrom did in the first half was record-breaking. He was going to be the MVP Award winner as well as the Cy Young Award winner. He was on pace to break Bob Gibson's single-season ERA record of 1.12.
There's no coincidence that when deGrom was shut down, the Mets season was over. They went from first place in the National League East at the all-star break to pretty much out of contention in late August. The rotation fell apart and deGrom not giving the bullpen a breather played a role as well.
deGrom has been durable in the past and I hope the increased velocity hasn't ruined his arm. He made at least 30 starts in each of the three full seasons prior to the shortened 2020 campaign.
The 33-year-old is in the final guaranteed year of his contract and will likely opt-out if the Mets don't extend him. The Mets must do everything in their power to keep him healthy and keep him long-term. If one or both of these things doesn't happen, the Mets won't go anywhere.