They say that there is wisdom in crowds. Who’s they, you might ask? I don’t know, I haven’t really researched it. But crowd-sourcing can be an interesting and useful exercise when you have a large base to pull information from. Luckily for us, we have our wonderful Facebook page (which you should definitely visit right now and be sure to smash that “Like” button). With the Mets basically on winter hiatus since they signed Yoenis Cespedes on November 30, I’ve been doing a lot of crowd-sourcing there to pass the time.
Last week, I posed a question that I thought would be interesting to look into a little deeper:
“Without making another move, how many games will the Mets win in 2017?”
We received 261 total responses to this question, ranging the scale literally from 0-162 (yes, a few jokers specifically chose those two numbers).
The average prediction of the 261 responses we received was that the Mets would win 91.4 games. Both the median and mode of the answers we received were 92 wins. 141 of those responses (54%) predicted that the 2017 Mets would win somewhere between 90-99 games, while 80 voters (31%) said that the Mets would fall into the 80-89 range, just as they did in 2016. There were even 30 voters (11%) who confidently stated the Mets would crack the 100 win barrier, though 11 of them had the Mets winning upwards of a highly-improbable 120 games. And finally, the 10 pessimist voters (4%) had the Mets winning 79 or below. BOOOO.
Maybe they’re right about the wisdom of crowds because the 91-92 win range seems almost right on the nose to me. The Mets managed to win 87 games a year ago and that was despite four starting pitchers and 3⁄4 of the Opening Day infield going down to season-ending injury, along with major offensive regression from Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud. The momentary loss of Jerry Blevins hurts the bullpen, but getting Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker back at all are bigger boosts. And it seems unlikely that they will finish with fewer than 87 wins, save for multiple major injury issues (again) or performance regressions.
If you assume simply a median level of health from the whole team as opposed to the deluge of injuries they faced this past season, 90 wins seems perfectly doable for this team. Some level of bounce back to respectability from Conforto and d’Arnaud would be a nice boost and if they manage to get closer to peak performances from even a few of last season’s walking wounded (Harvey, Duda, deGrom, Wright, Wheeler) or Conforto and d’Arnaud hit like 2015 for closer to a full season, then there’s probably room for more than that 91-92 projection.
So let’s pose this same question here: If the Mets don’t make another transaction this offseason, how many games will they win in 2017? How close are the Facebook voters? And just to make things a little more interesting, how many wins do the Mets need to topple the Nationals for the 2017 National League East crown?