Despite another offseason filled with turmoil, the actual New York Mets roster remains one of the most talented in baseball. The Mets somehow lost two managers and a new owner in just a few short months, but fans should still have reason for a sense of optimism and an expectation for improvement on last year's 86-win season.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, the Mets have the third-best odds to win the NL East at +280, but they are very close to the Atlanta Braves at +200 and Washington Nationals at +250. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA system recently projected them to win the NL East over the Braves, Nationals, and Phillies.
Why is the industry bullish on the Mets? Here are three reasons why the Mets are on course to win the division.
1. Continued Growth from Alonso, McNeil, and Conforto
The Mets have struck gold with their homegrown position players. Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto all had fantastic seasons in 2019, combining for 13.1 FanGraphs WAR. That was more than half the total WAR of the Mets' entire roster of position players. While all three have different positions and approaches to hitting, having three team-controlled players entering the prime of their careers is a huge boost for the Mets. With McNeil leading off, Alonso hitting cleanup, and Conforto providing protection, the Mets' lineup is going to be tough to beat in 2020. Additional homegrown talent like J.D. Davis, Amed Rosario, and Dominic Smith are also set to contribute in 2020.
2. Jacob deGrom's Dominance
Jacob deGrom is already the best Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden. He's also the best pitcher in the National League after reeling off back-to-back Cy Young Awards. deGrom is unreal, and there's not much more to say. After getting off to a slow start, by his standards, deGrom bunkered down in the second half. He ended with a 2.43 ERA, 2.67 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 5.88 over 204 innings. Over the past two years, he's had a 2.05 ERA and 2.32 FIP over 421 innings! His stuff remains electric. He still has a fastball that averages 97 MPH and excellent breaking pitches. If deGrom is healthy and pitching, the Mets have a huge advantage over their rivals.
3. Seth Lugo Emerging as a Relief Ace
Would the Mets have traded for Edwin Diaz if they knew that Seth Lugo would become one of the best relievers in baseball? Given Diaz's infamous struggles, could the Mets have made the playoffs if they'd realized what they had? Haunting questions aside, Lugo was fantastic in 2019, throwing 80 stellar innings with a 2.70 ERA and a 6.50 K/BB ratio. Lugo excels because of excellent pitch mixing and unhittable stuff. His curveball has one of the highest spin rates in baseball and it's set up by a solid fastball and sinker. He was unhittable for long stretches of 2019 and looks to be a steady part of the Mets bullpen in 2020. If the Mets can find a way to get Dellin Betances and Edwin Diaz to perform to their full potential, Lugo will ensure that they have one of the best late-game combinations in baseball.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.