The 2016 Mets Today “Mets-O-Meter”


I can’t stand the Hot Stove or Spring Training. Uncle Terry’s popgun team “won” Spring Training in 2015 but only jet-streamed into contention once they signed some proper baseball players at the deadline. As a sportsman I hated practice, but I could understand its value to players. Just watching it seems masochistic, as are the constant rumours and fluff stories about people not making opening day (Asdrubal Cabrera) and problems having a tinkle (Matt Harvey).

Those of you who watched plenty of Spring Training can prove me wrong. Please give your win totals in the comments below, and feel free to add your reasons too. We’ll keep track of wins over the whole season on Mets Today. There are no do-overs, no complaints. Factor in injuries, hot streaks, opposition strength and everything else.

If you win – like McKee with his bold prediction of 90 wins last year (bravo, McKee!) – you’ll get your choice of weird Mets merchandise that costs less than $15. My recommendation this year is a terrifying Mets “Mini Pillow Pet” that will recreate scenes from The Exorcist as you gaze at it before you drift into endless nightmares.



94 wins. I’ve bet my annual £10 on 93-95 wins at 12-1, which is a little better odds than the Mets winning the World Series (10-1!). I have the Mets making the postseason with room to spare, but losing out in the NL Championship game. Here’s why…


The Mets won 90 games last year, and each year I base my prediction in a WAR style. To what extent have the Mets improved or worsened since the previous year?

A bunch of things – for me – remain steady. I’m less tetchy about the bullpen than most. I know Bastardo has had a rough Spring Training but I like his stuff. I’m also a big – and perhaps only – fan of Logan Verrett, who’s crept onto the roster. If he throws his nasty, nasty hard change-up (I’m still convinced it’s a “fosh”) about 50% of the time he’ll get excellent results. I like Blevins’ looping breaking ball and maybe Robles will be a little better (and hopefully calmer) with experience. The league will be more used to Familia but when he’s good, he’s very good.

The starting rotation will, of course, excel. Are they way better than last year? Hmm… I’ll get into that a little bit in my predicated pluses and minuses. Here goes…

+1 win: Yoenis Cespedes for a full season.

Signing Cespedes for a full season changed most folks’ perception of the Mets. It’s more a case of the wins lost without him in the lineup. His huge second half will be impossible to replicate, and we all know his center field defense will be an adventure. But I still feel he can add another win to the team with his bat and presence. 25 homers and 95 RBI? I’d take that.

+1 win: Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores

Yes, the bench players. Both have massive holes in their swing at breaking balls away. It was particularly sad to watch Flores flail at sliders down in 2015. But both Lagares and Flores actually have nice, tight swings if they learn pitch recognition. I also think Flores will benefit from avoiding the worry of playing shortstop, and Lagares (hopefully with a better throwing arm this year) will appreciate mostly having to face lefties.

+1 win: Neil Walker

He’s a better player than Daniel Murphy in every department. Murph will feel great from a distance, but the Nationals now have the treat of watching his almost daily brain farts.

+2 wins: Stephen Matz and Zack Wheeler

This is a riskier one. I like Matz despite his control issues, and he also offers something with his bat. He could win a game by himself with a couple of hits. I have no clue what to expect from Wheeler and his new arm slot. But if he can make it back, I like Bartolo in the bullpen too. I’m convinced Bartolo is immortal and will outlive all of us.

+2 wins: Michael Conforto for a whole season

A very non-risky one. I wonder if his defence will be quite as good, but his bat will be.

+1 win: Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki

This depends a little on remaining injury free, but even if d’Arnaud goes down I expect Plawecki to be a little better this year. Like Flores, Plawecki seems a smart kid who’s eager to learn.

+1 win: David Wright and Eric Campbell

Hmm. In the few at-bats I’ve seen of Wright in poxy Spring Training he seems to be “dipping” less this year. And now his back condition has been identified I expect it’ll be better managed. He needs to sort out his throws to first base, though, but he still has a good eye at the plate and in the field. Soup is just due a few hard hits that will drop in.


-2 wins: One of the starting 5/6 pitchers will have a season ending injury

Odds are that one of the starting 5 or 6 (I’m including Wheeler on this) will get severely injured.

In the spirit of Joe’s analytical approach to pitchers, Syndergaard’s delivery looks like his arm may fly along with a pitch one day. It’s hard to hit a ball and an arm with a bat so he’ll get an out, but odds are he’ll join Matz, Harvey, DeGrom and Wheeler with a new tendon in his arm. Reps with Mjölnir can only help so much.

On the plus side, Colon will tootle along to a 4.00 ERA and cover reasonably well. And did I say how much I liked Logan Verrett?

-2 wins: More injuries to a non-pitcher this year

The Mets battled through the injuries to Wright and d’Arnaud last year, but odds are a more core piece will go down this year. Again, the nice side is I like Flores a lot if he has to plug a hole in the infield. And I like Lagares a little if (gulp) one of the starting outfielders goes down.

-1 win: The misuse of the outfield and the age of Curtis Granderson

As you know, I’m a huge fan of Curtis Granderson. No-one is plugging more for him than I am with my little CG pom-poms as I watch every Mets’ game. Prove me wrong, CG.

It just frustrates me that – despite some claims – Uncle Terry will probably still wheel out the Grandyman against some left handed pitchers when he clearly can’t hit them. Granderson looks SCARED in the box against lefties. The assumption is that Lagares will take over center against lefties and Grandy will take a seat. But will this happen? I have severe doubts.

It’s highly unlikely Granderson can replicate last season’s stellar performance but putting him in the best position to do so would make me happy… and also help the Mets’ win total.


It’s important to remember the Mets division still ain’t great. That hasn’t changed since last year.

The Nats look a little worse on paper but they still have to get more wins than 2015, when they were crippled by injuries, poor management and a bad vibe. The Marlins – as always – seem tempting. Might they be good? Perhaps. But they could also be REALLY bad if Stanton and/or Fernandez go down. The Braves are best summed up by the fact Frenchy made their opening roster. And the Phillies… if it’s possible to cry cheese-steak for them, I would.

The NL is general seems as weak as last year. Everyone likes the Cubs, I like the Pirates and the Cards will be thereabouts, as usual.


Don’t forget, no do-overs. This is bold prediction time. There’s a potential Pillow Pet riding on this.
I hope to see you throughout the season… usually on a Sunday… and thanks for continuing to read Mets Today. It’s like a typical Mets blog, only with sane people.

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. r. April 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm
    90 wins. Worried about DeGrom and his drop in velocity. Worried about Familia. Like Henderson. Control will be an issue for Matz and Robles. Bull pen will be over-used, as starters will rarely go or more. Cespedes will revert to his norm, which is still pretty good. Can’t see CG putting up same numbers as last year. Lagares looks much improved. Let’s see what Conforto does as the league adjusts to him. Don’t like DArnaud’s d on balls in the dirt or throwing. He can’t get injured again – can he?! Wright gets 120 games if we are lucky, a little better at the plate, a little worse on throws at 3rd. Kind of like D’Aza as a back up outfielder/ph. Campbell is a BC grad, so I’m pulling for him and looking for an upswing in his BABIP. National’s look very tough – Dusty Baker is a big addition. Hang on to your hats, and LGM
    • argonbunnies April 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm
      Agreed on all counts except starter length. Our big 3 all throw a lot of strikes, so despite pitch counts, I bet we’ll see them go 7+ quite regularly.
  2. Gregg from Hoboken April 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm
    Well I love this kind of thing. For 2 out of the last 3 years I came within a win. Last year I sold them far too short (6 wins off). So here you go. 101 wins.

    I’m much in line with some of your thinking, but am more bullish on some of the positives. I wlll see your +2 on Matz, and add 2 more. I’ll see your +1 on Wright, and add another. Ditto for Cespedes, Ditto for Walker. I think you’re right on about Conforto.

    I’m also expecting some regression to the norm — so I’m shaving off 3 wins for Granderson coming back to baseline, another for Familia, another for Duda. Nothing against these guys….but I just think they won’t repeat at quite the same level.

    I’m going to go plus 1 on Harvey as well. Year 2 coming back from TJS is going to goose him a little bit.

    • Steve Hussy April 8, 2016 at 11:51 am
      I love your boldness, Gregg. And it certainly rewarded McKee last year.
  3. Jimmy D April 8, 2016 at 8:57 am
    I say 92 wins. Very concerned about offense from the corners. The Metropolitans need to be a 4.75 to 5 run team to compete with the NL elite. My fear is that they are a full run south of that.
  4. Mojo April 8, 2016 at 9:12 am
    Jimmy D. I agree with you about our infield corner offensive vulnerabilities. I do believe, they can reach the 92 victories with slightly north of 4 runs/game. Pitching is not good. It is almost beyond great, top to bottom, baring injuries we get there. LGM.
  5. DanB April 8, 2016 at 10:10 am
    88 wins. I think they are a better team than last year but I doubt they will be as lucky with injuries to major players and at the trading deadline. Particularly, I worry about Familia regressing or getting hurt. Who would replace him? If things go fairly well, I could see them win 93 but I have to pick one number and I pick 88.
    • Steve Hussy April 8, 2016 at 11:56 am
      I think my own 94 is fairly risky. But even at that level I’ll still be able to pick holes in the Mets performances. For me a major factor was the weakness in the NL. I know the Giants will probably be pretty good, but the Cards are now struggling with injuries. I only see six decent NL teams and a bunch of rebuilding ones.
  6. argonbunnies April 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm
    If I win, can I get the Smiling Mets Exorcist Pillow Demon sent to one of my enemies?
    • Steve Hussy April 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm
      Of course! Its head actually spins around too…
  7. argonbunnies April 8, 2016 at 5:03 pm
    If the team gets off to a good start and comes through in the clutch and pulls out some big wins, then we could have a repeat of 2006, when a confident vibe took over and the team outperformed its 91-win run differential to win 97.

    On the other hand, if the Mets get in a rut where they aren’t hitting in the clutch and a few errors lead to losses and the boos start and the tabloids pounce, then I would absolutely expect this team to beat itself by trying to do too much, and miss the wild card.

    I don’t have the guts to actually predict 83 or 97 wins, though. Reason tells me that over 162 games we’ll probably have a bit of both scenarios. Which one will dominate the story of 2016? It just depends on how the Mets finish. They could win 89 via a sweep over DC that seizes the division title from the Nats, or they could win 89 while getting knocked out of the division lead and losing their season to Kershaw, Bumgarner or Cole in the wild card game.

    Either way, I’ll predict 89 wins. It’s a cowardly prediction, basically matching most of the statistical projections, but I like my odds, and I really want that prize.

  8. DaveSchneck April 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm
    I’ll say 93, and the Nats will push them to this total.
  9. Andy F April 11, 2016 at 5:10 am
    Hi Steve. Pretty much agree with your comments, but I am much less confident than you guys, I have a feeling we may have a bit of a hangover from last year, so I am going to agree with R and go for 90 wins. Hope I am wrong and Steve is right!