New York Mets: 2008 Season Preview
Key Acquisitions: Johan Santana - SP, Brian Schneider - C, Ryan Church – OF
Strengths: The Mets numbers and lineup would indicate they have all the tools in place to make a run at the crown. The starting rotation should be excellent with the acquistion of Santana and Martinez returning. New York has quality at all five spots now.
They can handle both right and left handed pitching and they know how to work the count (549 walks in 2007). They have excellent speed (200 stolen bases last year) as well.
New York can also put runs on the board in a hurry; last season they averaged 4.96 runs per game and they averaged 5.61 runs per game in road division play. They held division rivals 3.89 runs per game on the road.
Weaknesses: The biggest reason for the Met collapse last year was the way they fell apart against their division rivals, particularly at home. The Mets gave up 5.50 runs per game at Shea last year to division foes.
That makes no sense when compared to how well they pitched on the road in the division.
The Mets look like Brooks Robinson compared to the Marlins, but they could afford to cutback on the errors too (101 in 2007).
Summary: The way the Mets played down the stretch at Shea they might be glad to see the old building go. That said, if they can correct their problems at home they should be in the running to bring home the NL East title.
Johan Santana gives an all around solid pitching staff a much needed top of the rotation ace. The addition of Santana to the starting rotation makes up for Glavine’s departure and then some.
The Mets definitely have the bats to produce solid offensive numbers, their only problem last season was the lack of offensive pop at home.
The Mets still have some work to do against some stiff competition if they're going to send Shea off in fine fashion.
Prediction: Second Place in the NL East.
1B: Carlos Delgado
2B: Luis Castillo
3B: David Wright
SS: Jose Reyes
C: Brian Schneider
LF: Moises Alou
RF: Ryan Church
CF: Carlos Beltran
Key Players & Trends
The past two seasons the Mets are 32-19 when John Maine pitches, meaning they win 63 percent of the time that Maine starts. They do far better in division play when Maine takes the ball, posting a 16-5 mark in those match-ups (76 percent win percentage).
Part of Maine's tremendous success in division play over the last two seasons can be attributed to the fact that New York has averaged 6.43 runs per game over those 21 games.
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