The New York Mets have a lot of questions to answer this offseason, where lots of changes to the roster will be made and contract decisions between impending free agents and the front office are needed, but there are historic indicators that lead to the Mets having a worse record than their 101-61 mark they posted in 2022, the second most wins in a season in their 61-year history.
The Mets are unlikely to retain all their impending free agents.
Consider this incomplete list of 2022 Mets may have test the open market: Edwin Diaz, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker. It is very unlikely that the Mets will be able to retain them all, despite Steve Cohen’s large wallet.
The Mets will have several of its prospects who made debuts in 2022 as Opening Day roster candidates, such as Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos, but the Mets will have to find solace in the open market to fill up the rest of their 2023 squad. Will Justin Verlander hit the open market and join forces with former teammate Max Scherzer in New York? Is Aaron Judge really bolting the Bronx for Queens? Can the Mets lure Trea Turner and Clayton Kershaw away from the 111-win Dodgers? It's easier said than done, isn’t it?
The Mets had much fortune turn their direction this season and it is hard to see it repeat next year.
Their expected win-loss record was lower than their actual win-loss record. The expected win-loss record is derived from a mathematical formula that considers the runs scored and allowed in a season. This is a good indicator of how good a team really was. For example, the Mets scored 772 runs in 2022 and allowed just 606, giving them an expected (or Pythagorean) record of 99-63, which is two wins fewer than their actual record of 101-61.
However, in recent trends, more teams than not that have had a better actual record than expected win-loss record have seen a dip in actual win totals the following year. It is a trend that makes sense because there were certain variables that led to a team being worse than the record indicated.
The 2022 Mets are a great example of such a trend.
For example, the Mets went 14-5 against the Phillies, and 12 of their meetings this season happened while Joe Girardi was managing Philadelphia and there was so much turmoil within that organization. Now, the Phillies are a win away from a shocking World Series appearance thanks to Dave Dombrowski’s offseason plan which somehow worked.
The Mets did not lose a game all season when leading after eight innings (first time in franchise history they went a full season without such an unfortunate happening), while the Mets won five games when trailing after the eighth inning. It would be far more difficult a feat to repeat if the Mets can’t re-sign Edwin Diaz.
New York also went 10-2 in extra-inning games, and the fluky rule where each team gets a free runner at second base to start an inning helped the Mets win those games.