Baseball Prospectus published its 2019 PECOTA Projections on Thursday, giving Mets fans something to feel good about. BP has the rosiest take so far on the 2019 club, pegging them at 89 wins and a tie with the Nationals for first place in the NL East.
PECOTA sees improvements on both sides of the ball, with the 2019 Mets allowing just 630 runs (second in MLB to the Indians), compared to 2018’s 707, and scoring 699, up from 676.
On the pitching side, PECOTA sees another dominant season from Jacob deGrom, whose projected 2.85 ERA and 3.9 WARP are both top marks among NL starters. The outlook is good on Noah Syndergaard as well, whose 3.02 ERA estimate is second only to his rotation-mate. Even Jason Vargas comes out looking half decent, with a 4.04 ERA that would be his best since 2016.
PECOTA loves the relief corps as well and puts Edwin Diaz at a 1.81 ERA, the lowest of any pitcher in the majors by a country mile. There’s a big gap between him and the rest of the bullpen, but Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman all expected to make solid contributions.
Overall, the Mets as projected would get 69% of their innings from pitchers with ERAs under 4.00. That would make them a legitimately formidable opponent, not to mention a potential monster in the postseason.
On the hitting side, Robinson Cano is expected to be a big part of the offense this year, with a 3.0 WARP projection that is second among NL second basemen. Brandon Nimmo also comes out looking good, with a 3.6 WARP that is based on a relatively small offensive regression from last year’s breakout as well as excellent projected fielding coming primarily in right field.
Above average seasons at the plate are expected all around the infield, including a promising 1.2 WARP in a half-season’s worth of at bats from Peter Alonso and an OPS near .800 for newcomer J.D. Davis.
The biggest disappointment here would be Amed Rosario, whose development over the course of last season PECOTA doesn’t quite buy into yet. Similarly, the centerfield tandem of Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton looks pretty anemic and not nearly as defensively strong as the team would hope.
Maybe the area PECOTA is most bullish on is health. Oft-injured Wilson Ramos is projected for a workload roughly equal to that of most healthy catchers. Cano, Rosario, Conforto, and Nimmo all come in at full seasons, with Jeff McNeil getting over 400 ABs as a utility player. Only Vargas and Steven Matz are projected to throw fewer than 160 innings out of the rotation, with full relief seasons coming from all of the top four relievers. That’s production the Mets will happily accept any day of the week.