It feels like it’s time for the New York Mets to finally win the World Series again. Thirty-seven years since their last championship, the Mets enter the 2023 season with high hopes and weighty expectations, emboldened and possibly burdened by an MLB record payroll of over $350 million.
Their starting rotation features a pair of future Hall of Famers and a Japanese sensation. The lineup is dotted with All-Stars in their prime, including the reigning MLB RBI leader and National League batting champion. And they have the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, who is one of the most respected leaders in the sport.
“That’s why we’re suiting up every day. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Buck Showalter was asked if the Mets have “World Series or bust” expectations: pic.twitter.com/nEPTFz6Bc4
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 29, 2023
Of course, the Mets being the Mets, they’ve already lost closer Edwin Diaz for the season with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee and starter Jose Quintana for three months following rib surgery.
It won’t be an easy road but here are four reasons why the New York Mets will win the 2023 World Series.
4. Stars will shine, lead way for Mets in 2023
To have a great season and/or win a championship, your best players must be your best players. That certainly was true for the Mets in 2022, when they won 101 games and reached the postseason for the first time in six years, led by a long list of stars.
Though Diaz likely won’t throw a single pitch this season, and Jacob deGrom went south to the Texas Rangers, the Mets roster has more than it’s share of star quality. Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor are some of the biggest names in baseball. Right below them are Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Kodai Senga, David Robertson and Adam Ottavino.
You get the idea. The Mets are stacked.
Perhaps more importantly, this group is super motivated. Some by pursuit of greatness, others by having not won a championship before. And for those returning from last season, driven to finish the job after faltering badly at the end of 2022.
Pete Alonso annihilated that ball. pic.twitter.com/9Oxt4mmQ35
— MLB (@MLB) March 24, 2023
The linchpins will be Scherzer and Verlander, who will push each other to further greatness, and Alonso, who’s primed to finish top-3 in MVP voting this season after a top-10 finish a year ago.
3. Complementary players will positively impact Mets this season
Championship teams also feature a host of complementary players who excel and often outperform the back of their baseball cards. They are the ones who quietly help push their team over the top to win.
The Mets have improved depth on their 26- and 40-man rosters, something that was a priority for GM Billy Eppler this offseason.
Their starting rotation is a prime example. With the signing of Dylan Bundy at the end of spring training, the Mets are ten arms deep in their starting rotation rotation. That’s not saying Bundy and Elieser Hernandez, for example, are in the same league as Scherzer and Verlander. But the Mets are better prepared for the 162-game grind with 10 legitimate MLB starters (Scherzer, Verlander, Senga, Quintana, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi, Hernandez and Bundy).
Peterson is already on the Mets’ Opening Day roster, replacing Quintana. He and Megill will play big roles in New York this season, something Peterson is familiar with after having stepped in to pitch exceptionally well during the 2020 and 2022 seasons.
Omar Narváez goes deep!
(via @BallySportsFL) pic.twitter.com/B0Y37UVqNG
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 24, 2023
Omar Narvaez feels like another player who’s going to have a positive impact in New York. The veteran catcher is coming off a down season offensively with the Milwaukee Brewers but was an All-Star the year before. He, Daniel Vogelbach, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha could be expected to rebound after so-so seasons in 2022. And Tommy Pham feels like an upgrade over Darin Ruf as right-handed hitting DH. That’ll be a huge lift for the lineup.
Expect Luis Guillorme, Tim Locastro and Danny Mendick to provide spark at different points this season, too.
2. Brett Baty will provide major boost for Mets after in-season recall
The Mets are going to reap the benefits of sending Brett Baty down to Triple-A to get more experience when he’s recalled during the season. The 23-year-old had a terrific spring and looks ready to play every day in the majors, especially as a hitter. But there was no reason to rush him since the Mets have Escobar at third base.
“While he had a great camp, we’re really excited about his future, there’s just some more development markers left for him to reach”
Billy Eppler explains the decision to send Brett Baty to triple-A Syracuse: pic.twitter.com/6mxs3hQG7l
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 26, 2023
Baty is going to tear it up at Syracuse. He’s also going to keep working on his defensive game since he knows improvements there are what’s going to cement his eventual recall. And when he arrives in Flushing — whether because of an injury on the big club or simply because he kicked the door in and made it impossible to keep him in the minors — Baty will impact the lineup.
When the playoffs begin, Baty will be starting at third base.
And don’t discount contributions from two other top prospects at some point this season. Infielder Mark Vientos also seems MLB ready and catcher Francisco Alvarez is knocking at the door, too.
1. Mets will peak at the right time, play their best in 2023 postseason
The Mets were so consistently good last season. That is, until they weren’t when it mattered most in September and October.
Count it as an important (and painful) lesson learned. The Mets will be better off for it this season when they parlay a strong season but peak towards the end and ride momentum throughout the postseason.
Of course, no one can predict the timing of injuries and slumps, nor how the competition will be playing come October. But the Mets mindset will be focused on playing well now and looking to be at their best at the end. That will be of great benefit to them when they must get through (it says here) the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays to win the World Series.
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