Man Up And Get Predicting

Way back when the Mets were 16-10 on May 6th, I wrote an article about the legendary Izzy and asked Mets Today readers (and pundits) to predict the amount of games the Mets would win. The bold ones amongst you did just that. And, so far, you’re doing pretty darn well.

You can chart your progress on the Mets-O-Meter as the season rolls on after the All Star Break.

If you haven’t already told me how many wins you thought the Mets would get at the start of the season… comment and I’ll add you to the chart. I’ve got my £10 riding on the Mets winning 86-88 games. And you’ve got a piece of lovely Mets merchandise to win if you get the correct number.

No hindsight, though… it’s strictly forbidden. Lemme explain why.

Hindsight Is The Coward’s Way Out

The nature of being a Mets fan is to be negative. We’ve got a much better chance of being right that way. In 54 seasons the Mets have had 22 winning seasons. And a number of those were 82 or 83 wins. Let’s face it, last year’s 79 wins hardly felt spectacular for all the Pythagorean wonder of it.

But the hope of another year hits just before Spring Training. We think about the possibilities of a healthy David Wright, that pitching staff with Zack Wheeler, the promise of Michael Cuddyer being a super-utility player, and Juan Lagares providing Gold Glove defense with his killer arm.

That torn feeling before Spring Training is exactly the right time to make your prediction. In my case, I get better odds from my bookie (9-1 for a three game spread). But it also shows the ability to stick your neck out and factor in every dumb and ridiculous fork on the 162 game road ahead.

You get it right then and you are a genius. You could be GM. You SHOULD be the owner (please).

Either that, or you’re just lucky. But then sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

The Predictions So Far

The Mets are on course for just over 85.5 wins. My £90 + £10 stake (- betting tax) seems assured.

Colin, Walt and R. will also be getting whatever farcical piece of Mets merchandise they want (as long as it costs $10 or less). I recommend the Mets Steering Wheel cover.

But are we right?

The Case For 86 Wins

The Mets’ starting pitching – aside from Dillon Gee – has been lights out. Harvey has been better than I expected. Jon Niese improved as his beard grew into full magnificence. Bartolo Colon has puttered along with a cheeky wink and a song in his heart. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz have shown the future is bright as long as their arms or lats don’t fall off. And Jacob deGrom is a joy to watch. He even made his one inning in the always-very-tedious All Star Game a lot of fun.

But, more importantly, three-fifths of the NL East is very bad. The Braves are starting to find their level (low), the Marlins have already found theirs (low), and the Phillies are so bad it’s almost sad.

The Mets still have a bunch of games against these guys (26 out of the remaining 73 games) and you hope they’ll go at least 17-9. Then add on 7 games against Colorado. None of those teams are going to get any better… if anything they’ll get worse as they trade for the future. So that’s almost half of the Mets games against lousy AAA standard teams. Wally’s Las Vegas would beat ‘em.

The Case For 80 Wins

The Mets defense has improved but it’s still uninspiring, and a few guys in the bullpen give me chills every time they enter. With: “Here comes Alex Torres” spectators rush for the exits.

The offense is equally frustrating. Poor David Wright (and I refuse to grumble about him) seems out for the season and a terrible throw up the line continues to rob the Mets of Travis d’Arnaud. Wilmer is hitting clean-up, Grandy can’t hit lefties, Duda still has slumps, Cuddy is cruddy. And Murph will continue to admire his singles whilst running with all the intelligence of a startled sheep.

Oh, and who’s getting injured next? Niese and Parnell are already in danger of ingrowing beards.

And why is the schedule for the rest of July just plain evil? It feels like the Mets could lose their season in the next two weeks. In total the Mets also have 12 games left against the Nationals. Yuk…

My Hindsight Prediction

80-82 wins. Joe wins again. DanB’s initial Spring Training prediction could also take it.

My Actual Prediction

86-88 wins. Never turn back. Never use hindsight. Trust yourself.

The Metsies will beat the Cubbies by a couple of games to squeak into the last wild card spot, where they face (shudder) the almighty Pirates.

But, you know what, I’d pay to see Gerrit Cole vs. Jacob deGrom and £90 goes a little way towards the plane fare.

What do you think?

The comments box below is there for just that reason.
And feel free to request whatever Mets-chandise you fancy. Mets Cookie Cutters, anyone? Taste your victory!


Steve Hussy has been a Mets fan since 1984. An insomniac as a kid, he watched baseball highlights at 4 AM on British TV. He credits Darryl Strawberry's long homers as the first cause of his obsession with the Mets. Now he gets to watch Mets games that finish at 3 AM and teach bleary-eyed lessons to his film students the next day. He also gets to shell out hundreds of pounds to fly over to New York and watch the Mets occasionally win. Steve Hussy's other job is as a writer and editor for Murder Slim Press, which specialises in confessional and crime literature. You can find out more about him on Just no threats, please.
  1. Jack Strawb July 17, 2015 at 11:01 pm
    I said 80 wins at the end of spring training, and I still think that’s where we’re headed. (The Mets’ Pyth record is under .500.) Pleasantly surprised thus far, though.
    • Steve Hussy July 18, 2015 at 6:18 pm
      I’ll add you to the Mets-o-meter, Jack. I’ve got a horrible feeling you’ll be right, but I remain ever-positive even with the Mets’ offensive offense.
  2. argonbunnies July 18, 2015 at 3:10 pm
    Fantastic, Slim. That “startled sheep” line is the quote of the year. Not just because it’s funny but because it is SO PERFECTLY TRUE.

    Sorry I missed the original predicting. I figured the Mets were an 82-win team, splitting the difference between Vegas (mostly 82-83) and projections like Steamer (mostly 80-81).

    It’s funny, every year I tell myself (and whoever else will listen) that for every pleasant surprise there will also be a disappointment, and it generally evens out — and despite that, I STILL get frustrated. I mean, we’re getting way more than I expected from deGrom, Syndergaard, Niese, Parnell, Goeddel, and Familia, and my primary reaction is to bemoan how we’re wasting those performances by fielding guys like Cuddyer, Tejada and Flores. The fact is that, in another universe, Flores could have taken off while Thor struggled, or Cuddyer could have mashed extra-base hits while our AAA relief corps imploded.

    It generally balances, and my first thought now is that this is still an 82-win team. Factors that have my reconsidering that, though:

    1) The best thing the Mets got from a position player in 2014 was Juan Lagares’ defense. Not only has that been absent so far in 2015, but also, more relevant for predictions, it looks like it’s not coming back. Last year, Lagares catches Wong’s pop-up into shallow center and Bourjos’ double to deep center, and the Mets beat the Cards 2-1. Juan can’t throw and is lacking the explosiveness and fearlessness that he had at 24-25. This is sad, but not a shock; speed peaks early. Alas, the bat isn’t coming around to compensate — Juan still has a long way to go to be a good hitter. Add it up, and our best player from 2014 is currently a AAAA player. I’m not predicting the bat won’t improve — but I am predicting it won’t take enough of a quantum leap to outweigh his defensive decline.

    2) I expected Wright to miss a good chunk of the season with injury, but not THIS much. If you haven’t begun baseball activities on July 18, you’re not going to contribute much that season.

    3) Familia’s slider and command both seem much improved from 2014. He’s a legit closer. Plus, Terry’s had the guts to use him in the 8th, and Jeurys has shown he can handle it. The Mets are much stronger at the end of the game than I’d expected. The minor league relief help also has more talent than I was aware of.

    That’s about it. I’m gonna stop short of assuming that deGrom will continue to be amazing and Cuddyer and Flores will continue to be terrible and d’Arnaud will continue to be injured. I don’t think we really have a lot of novel info on these players that we didn’t in March.

    +1-3 wins in relief, and -5-7 wins from Lagares and Wright, comes out to about -4, meaning I’d predict a 78-win team based on player performance (4 fewer than the 82 I’d thought). This pro-rates to a 35-38 record in the second half. Add that to what actually happened in the first half (47-42) and you get… 82 wins.

    So I’m sticking with 82.

    For anyone who thinks that predicting a .528 team to play at a .479 clip is pessimistic, I’ll point out that there’s only been ONE stretch of 21 or more games this season where the Mets have played over that .479 clip. All I’m predicting is that the season-opening streak remains the unique outlier it already looks like.

  3. DanB July 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm
    I guessed 82 wins which is still a step forward from last year. I would of picked more but I figured having Cambell backing up Wright and Mayberry backing up the outfield would come back to haunt the Mets. We are still one groin pull from Mayberry batting fifth. Also, if the Mets fall out of it, they’d be silly not to trade Colon, Murphy, and Parnell. That will help with the future but would make it harder to win in the second half.
    • Steve Hussy July 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm
      I had you down for 80-82 wins and I took everyone’s lowest number. Do you want me to move you up to 82 on the Mets-o-meter?
      It was a depressing sight to see Mayberry pinch hitting with the tying run on third base. With two lefties on the bench. But then Mayberry had hit in every at-bat he’d had again Rosenthal before.
      Oh, he’d had one at bat against him.
      And the endless foul balls never seemed remotely close to a hit. Hmm….
      • DanB July 18, 2015 at 11:04 pm
        Keep me at 80 as that was my preseason guess. I went up to 82 after the winning streak.
  4. Steve Hussy July 18, 2015 at 6:17 pm
    Thanks, Argon, I appreciate it. And I’ll add you to the Mets-o-meter before I post it again in a few weeks. I think you 80-82 win guys will likely be right in the end, but I remain an optimist. And, as I said, I never back down on a prediction.
    Let’s go through your points:
    1) I think it’s clear Lagares needs surgery, but the Mets (surprise) don’t have a viable back-up. Kirk can’t hit, Grandy can’t throw (or move that well) and so they need the half-strength Juan. I don’t think Lagares’ foot speed is a major problem (although he didn’t look great going back of Heyward’s fly last night) but he’s clearly playing in pain.
    2) It’s very sad about Wright. Like you, I figured he’d play 130 games and have minor issues. He’s still a .800 OPS guy with solid defense. The replacements are .650 guys (and I’m being positive) with fielding issues.
    3) Familia has been great. I think he’s been overpitched, though. It’s another offshoot of a lousy offense. The games are usually closer, and there have been very few laughers either way this year.
    I don’t think you’re being pessimistic. Looking at the Mets’ schedule it’s hard not to see a bunch of losses coming up soon. I groaned when the Cards scored a run (the end result of a defensive miscue too) because clinging onto just a one run lead seems of vital importance.
    My positive is that I love watching the Mets pitch. And I won’t even grumble that I’ve got Jon Niese again for my Sunday game report. Not much, anyway.
  5. Steve Hussy July 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm
    I also want to shout out to Bat to make his prediction. You always seem more towards the optimistic end (a kindred spirit), so I’m intrigued to see how many games you thought the Mets would win before Spring Training.
  6. DaveSchneck July 18, 2015 at 11:53 pm
    I believe I was in on your original post for 86 wins, since ’86 always has a good ring to Met fans. I’ll try to keep a stiff upper lip through this run of 9 games.
    • Murder Slim July 19, 2015 at 12:35 pm
      Sorry I missed you out, Dave. I’ll add you to the clear right answer by the time of the next update.
      Yeah, I think I talked up a “laugher” last night. The only consolation is how strong a team the Cards are. I should have taken a trip to their clubhouse and coughed in their Gatorade.
  7. Ernesto Colnugso July 20, 2015 at 6:28 am
    Is Mayberry Junior on the flight to Washington?

    82 wins, lessss Go!!

    • Steve Hussy July 20, 2015 at 8:17 am
      Great Ernesto, I’ll add you to the Mets-o-meter when I upload it again in a few weeks.
  8. Colin July 21, 2015 at 9:46 am
    I’m sinking into a post all star break depression. Travis, come back already. Silver lining has been Kapt K hitting .429 in the last 7 games.

    They need to make a move.