Some people think they have it all figured out. ESPN and MLB Tonight, for example, employ a lot of former players who have plenty of credibility in terms of evaluating talent.
The problem is that many of the analysts, such as Curt Schilling and Sean Casey, were in their prime during the Steroid Era of baseball.
That era was classified with bloated offensive numbers across both leagues, with the World Series generally being won by the veteran teams with the most playoff experience such the New York Yankees of '96, '98-'00, '01 Arizona Diamondbacks, '02 Anaheim Angels, '04 Boston Red Sox and '05 Chicago White Sox.
The game has changed since then. Look no further than the San Francisco Giants who have won two of the past three World Series.
When your team ERA is 3.68 while recording 1,237 strikeouts, you have a chance to win every ballgame.
Their postseason runs were unexpected, but shouldn't have come as a surprise to fans who have noticed the changes occurring in the game.
Teams that rely on three-run home runs are much less likely to win postseason games against elite pitching.
Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN
TC: Zack Wheeler like 2012 Matt Harvey http://t.co/zxIXsXhVaV #NYM #Mets3/10/2013, 9:09:50 PM
Great pitchers limit the damage and close the door before things get out of hand.
The Giants were a team that finished dead last (No. 30) in the Major Leagues in home runs with 103.
Of course they had the NL MVP in Buster Posey who had a tremendous season and led the team with 24 home runs. After that, however, Pablo Sandoval was next with 12 long balls.
With that being the case, the New York Mets can surprise people who feel they are not contenders due to their lousy outfield.
If David Wright can contribute another season with a WAR close to 8.0, they will have their own version of Buster Posey.
The Mets have the potential for a dominating pitching rotation. With Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Johan Santana, Shaun Marcum and Dillon Gee, they have one of the most complete starting staffs in the big leagues.
Once April is complete, top prospect Zack Wheeler can slot in the rotation and potentially bring what Matt Harvey did last season to the table.
The Mets do have significant obstacles to climb. Their bullpen will be relying on a number of reclamation prospects and past-their-prime pitchers, but sometimes when you throw a bunch of players against the wall, someone will stick.
Brandon Lyon or Bobby Parnell will need to step up the way Sergio Romo did last season.
Additionally, they play in a division with three teams that can easily win 90 games.
I'm not predicting the Mets to make the playoffs this season—I expect close to a .500 record—but they are not an embarrassment that will struggle to win 70 games as many analysts have predicted.
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