The Mets will try to make the postseason for the third year in a row for the first time ever.
First time ever? The franchise has been around since 1962, but the Mets are searching to make that a first in 2017.
The Mets are in a very weird position. It’s a win-now team. The lineup has a ton of age, the pitching has been together for a couple of years, and you never know how many more opportunities you’ll have to keep knocking on the door.
I love the Mets pitching, but it has questions.
I expect Noah Syndergard and Jacob deGrom to deliver at the top of the rotation, but the performance of Matt Harvey and health of Steven Matz is a serious concern.
Will both Harvey and Matz last 162 games and perform at a high level?
Offensively, the lineup runs way too hot and cold. It’s way too reliant on the home run, and will they be able to manufacture that needed run in a tight situation?
The presence of Jose Reyes over 162 games should help, but can the Mets find offensive consistency?
The team has its questions, and it also has to deal with a formidable foe in the Washington Nationals that won the division a year ago.
Washington may have its postseason demons, but the roster is full of more superstar talent than the Mets.
The Mets have Yoenis Cespedes, but the Nationals counter with Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and everybody’s favorite former Met, Daniel Murphy.
It was a tale of two races in 2015 and 2016 between the Mets and Nats.
In 2015, the Mets dominated the rivalry, while 2016 was the polar opposite for the Nats.
The Mets inability to win the division proved costly, because instead of playing a best-of-five series against the Dodgers, a team the Mets had defeated the year prior, they were forced to play a one-game playoff against the battle-tested San Francisco Giants.
They had to beat Madison Bumgarner in a winner-take-all game, and it’s fair to say it didn’t turn out too well.
The difference between winning a division and playing in a wild-card game could mean everything.
If the Mets had defeated the Giants last season, they would’ve faced off with the eventual world champion Chicago Cubs...coulda, shoulda, woulda.
Last season, the Mets were not equipped to take down the Cubbies because of the injuries in the starting rotation.
In 2017, assuming the Mets rotation is right, they are the one team the Cubbies would want no part of in a postseason series.
Why? Pitching dominates the postseason.
If healthy, the Mets would be able to roll out a postseason rotation that features Syndergard, deGrom, Harvey and Matz, a rotation that was a part of a four-game sweep against the Cubs in the 2015 National League Championship Series.
The Mets rotation dominated the Cubs and made one of the best lineups in baseball look foolish.
As a baseball fan in April, you can only dream of such a matchup, but for the Mets, it’s not about matching up with the Cubs quite yet.
It’s about figuring out a way to get to October.
If the Mets can find a way to October, they’ll be super dangerous.
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