2. New York Mets
Steve Cohen and the New York Mets made some huge splashes this offseason, signing Max Scherzer and Starling Marte, while also bringing in Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Adam Ottavino. Despite the likely loss of Michael Conforto, the team boasts a lineup that features: Marte, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeill. With a talented core, the Mets should have a high-end offense this year, especially if Lindor, McNeill, and Dominic Smith have bounce-back seasons.
However, despite the potentially potent lineup, the thing that jumps out about this Mets team is their dominant duo atop the rotation with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. deGrom is widely regarded as the top pitcher in baseball, and Scherzer has been in the top five since signing with the Nationals. But the rest of their rotation is no slouch either, as Carlos Carrasco, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker join the group. The acquisition of Bassitt in a trade with the Athletics was the move the rotation needed in order to fully take shape, and health permitting it could be the best rotation in the league.
Meanwhile in the bullpen, while talented, it is not nearly as sure of a thing. The bullpen was the team's weak point last year, and they lost their top option, Aaron Loup in free agency this year. However, the team does have some high quality arms including: Seth Lugo, Edwin Diaz, Trevor May, and Adam Ottavino. Each of these pitchers has shown elite upside at some point in their career, and while most of them were solid last year, the team needs at least one of them to pitch at a high level.
While the Mets upside is as high, if not higher than any other team in the division, there are two things that are holding them back from the top spot: injuries and experience. The Mets have proven year in and year out that they get bit by the injury bug more than most teams, and more often than not they have been unable to overcome those injuries. As for experience, much of this team has never made a deep playoff run, and some have never played in the playoffs at all, which knocks them back a notch. If the team stays healthy, or can prove they can overcome injuries, they should be a playoff team, and will have an opportunity to prove that they can play when the pressure is on.