The New York Mets are in fact 12 games under .500, but the attitude surrounding the team has been far more positive over the last two weeks.
Terry Collins' team has won seven-of-11. This band of semi-lovable losers is finally showing the scrappiness that they will need to in order to have success looking forward.
However, Mets fans know that their team loves to show some life and suck them back in to the season before returning back to their old ways.
Baseball is nearly impossible to predict, but we'll try to do exactly that here, as we provide you with predictions for each Mets player over the second half of the season.
Matt Harvey is the owner of the lowest ERA in the National League and is well on his way to starting the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.
Harvey is also first in the NL in both strikeouts (121) and WHIP (0.88) and fourth in the league in innings pitched. He’s been an absolute horse for the New York Mets, now 16 starts into what is shaping up to be one of the best seasons a Mets’ pitcher has seen since, well, RA Dickey last season.
As with every pitcher, you’d expect a guy to have a bad start once in awhile, but Harvey brings it every single day. Even when he does not have his best stuff he’ll still rack up six innings with ease.
A prediction with Harvey is more of a formality than anything. He’ll keep doing exactly what he has been doing.
Jonathan Niese, the only lefty in the New York Mets' starting rotation, left his start on June 20 against the Atlanta Braves in the fourth inning with a shoulder injury.
Niese recently landed on the disabled list (via ESPN’s Adam Rubin) and is likely to miss a handful of starts. That’s a shame, because he was finally starting to get his season back on track after a rough start.
After allowing 15 earned runs in just 8.1 innings in back to back starts, Niese had compiled a 2.50 ERA over his last six outings.
He’s a vital piece of the Mets' rotation as the only southpaw and should be able to continue his 180-degree turn if he can fully healthy. My guess is that he will, and will have an ERA somewhere in the mid-threes the rest of the way.
A bit more enigmatic and wild than Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler delighted in his debut despite three walks, but suffered a letdown in his second outing against the Chicago White Sox.
Ron Darling noted pretty early on during SNY’s broadcast that Wheeler was slowing down his delivery when throwing his curveball. That’s obviously a huge issue and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible if Wheeler is going to continue to improve.
We’ve seen such a small sample of the quiet Georgia native that it is tough to pass judgment this early, but Wheeler certainly has the stuff to make an impact over the next three months.
His ERA currently sits at 3.18. I’d expect it to fluctuate around that number for the remainder of the season.
Prior to his ineffective showing against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 22, Dillon Gee was doing a wonderful job of pitching for his spot in the rotation—a spot that Zack Wheeler was expected to claim prior to Jonathan Niese’s injury.
Gee regained the confidence of New York Mets fans by showing his high upside over a string of four starts in which he won three-of-four decisions, amassed a 1.53 ERA and accumulated a sub-one WHIP over 29.1 impressive innings.
His performance over the duration of the season won’t amount to anything close to a 1.53 ERA, but he is more than capable of serving as a viable fourth starter.
“Hard Luck” Jeremy Hefner has not overpowered opposing hitters this year, but he’s actually exceeded expectations thus far. Despite the team losing in his first nine starts and 12-of-14 overall, Hefner should be proud to carry a 3.89 ERA.
He is not mesmerizing to watch, but Hefner has allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his 15 outings. A 2.50 ERA since May 24 is superb for Hefner, but the New York Mets just can’t seem to consistently win when he’s on the hill.
I would be pleasantly surprised if Hefner is able to keep up the pace that he has over the last month, but I don’t expect that to happen. If Hefner’s ERA can stay in the neighborhood of its current mark, the Mets should be able to stay slightly below mediocre.
Speaking of hard luck, Shawn Marcum has had his fair share of that this season, but he looked great recently while throwing eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball.
He’s put together a smattering of quality starts that have fans thinking he can revert to the ways of the last two seasons in which he threw 324.2 innings and racked up a 3.61 ERA.
If the New York Mets can get that much out of him, they’d be elated. I, for one, am not optimistic, but he’ll have to do better than a 5.08 ERA to keep his spot in this rotation.
There are grumblings swirling around the social media universe that Bobby Parnell has earned himself a spot in the All-Star Game. I’m not entirely sure about that, but Parnell has been one of the few bright spots in 2013 for the New York Mets.
He had a couple of bad outings earlier this month, but has surrendered just one hit over his last 5.1 innings. That hit came during his four-out save against the Atlanta Braves when he came in with the bases loaded in the eighth and whiffed Chris Johnson.
Parnell has his sub-par appearances, but he’s been very consistent thus far for Terry Collins. Look for more of the same from the closer the remainder of the way.
Brandon Lyon, the setup man of the New York Mets, looked like a bad buy after his first 14 starts when he struggled to a 4.76 ERA.
However he’s looked much better over his last 19 appearances, allowing just five earned runs over 20 innings (2.25 ERA).
Lyon was once in a de facto setup role—and some might still agree—but there is no denying that he’s turned things around and has done more than enough to earn his keep just short of the season’s halfway point.
Barring injury, he should continue to do so.
“Everyday” Scott Rice was exactly that for Terry Collins and the New York Mets through May 9, but has been absolutely atrocious since.
Over those first 19 appearances in the teams first 31 games, Rice’s ERA plummeted to a shocking 1.69, but has ballooned to 4.70 since.
This was a matter of time. He has pitched in 41 of the team’s first 71 games. In outings No. 20 to 41, Rice bears an unsightly 7.98 ERA.
I guess there is a reason Rice spent 13 years bouncing around the minor league systems of five organizations. The downward plunge will continue.
LaTroy Hawkins has been very streaky this season, but his full body of work is rather remarkable granted he is 40 years old and north of 900 career appearances.
The fact that he has a 3.45 ERA and is still on the New York Mets' roster is one of the bigger surprises for me out of this bullpen.
You would have to expect that his body will begin to betray him over the next few months, but he should remain a viable option in low-pressure situations if he can stay healthy.
The right-hander made just one appearance from September 19, 2010 to his June 8, 2013 debut with the New York Mets, but has burst onto the scene in Flushing Meadows with his tidy and relatively quick relief jobs.
His ERA is 1.12 through eight outings and throws strikes as consistently as any other relief pitcher in the Mets' bullpen.
If he continues to pound the strike zone and keeps men off base, he’ll grab a hold of the No. 3 spot in the ‘pen, and could rise.
Josh Edgin served as the opposing team’s whipping boy for the entire month of April before he was demoted to figure out whatever it was that he needed to figure out.
His first month was as bad a month as a reliever could have, as the lefty saw his ERA skyrocket to 9.64, but has since hurled six shutout innings in June to pull that number down to 5.87.
Despite his recent performance, I wouldn’t be shocked if Edgin winds up back at Triple-A at some point this season.
Do not let John Buck’s hot start continue to cloud your evaluation of a hitter—he has been nothing short of abysmal since the calendar turned to May.
Over the last two months, the catcher has hit .197 with three homers, 11 RBI and 44 strikeouts in 147 at-bats.
If not for his abilities behind the plate handing the pitching staff, people would be calling for Buck’s head right now. But you can’t really expect much more out of him, given that he was supposed to serve as a stopgap until Travis d’Arnaud was ready.
Buck can’t regress any further, but even a bad hitter can stumble into a low-.200 average with sporadic luck.
Anthony Recker calls a good game, something evidenced in his efforts behind the plate in Zack Wheeler’s debut, but he’s anemic at the plate.
That may be because he can’t get into a groove because he hardly sees any time, but Recker is relatively inconsequential to the New York Mets and will remain that way.
After infuriating New York Mets fans over the first two-plus months of the 2013 season, Ike Davis finally got the boot to Triple-A.
In some reassuring news though, Ike “Vegas” has batted .306 in Nevada and hit as many homers (five) in 63 plate appearances as he had in 207 in the majors.
Davis isn’t going to match his 32 home runs and 90 RBI from last season, but he seems to be getting back on track working with Wally Backman.
Although Daniel Murphy’s batting average has been tailing off as of late, there is no denying that he is the second-most productive hitter in the 2013 New York Mets lineup.
He has already reached the 20-double threshold and is just one short of his 2012 home run total of six. Not to mention his defense at second base has been steadily improving since he first took the starting role.
Murphy is hitting an even .200 over his last 14 games, but you always expect him to hit a hot streak at some point. Look for Murphy to turn it up leading up to and following the All-Star break.
Speaking of streaks, Omar Quintanilla has been no stranger to hot-cold fluctuation since his 2013 major league debut on May 30.
He hit .325 over his first 40 at-bats, but followed that up with a brutal 17-at-bat hitless streak from June 12 to June 17. Through his next 21 at-bats, Quintanilla hit a whopping .429.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Quintanilla continue on this flip-flopping course until the season ended, but his .253 batting average will probably be the norm.
The New York Mets know what they are going to get out of the captain. He comes to play every night, never mails in an at-bat and hustles every single time he’s involved in a play.
David Wright is hitting .305 with 12 homers, 41 RBI, 41 runs, 14 stolen bases and 22 XBH. That is obviously a great line just 73 games into the season, but Wright looks like he is yet to fully lock in in 2013.
If Wright does not get the All-Star nod over Pablo Sandoval and his .286 average, eight homers, 37 RBI, 26 runs, zero stolen bases and 15 XBH, we have a problem.
Wright will continue to mash and should wind up somewhere in the mid-to-high 20s in home runs and 85-plus RBI.
If the New York Mets are going to compete in the future with Lucas Duda on the team, the outfielder will need to prove his worth to Sandy Alderson and the rest of the team’s front office.
At this point in time, a .235 batting average isn’t proving anything.
Some things in baseball just should not happen. One of those things is a hitter having only twice as many RBI as home runs, but Duda has managed to do that.
However, that embarrassing phenomenon can be chalked up to his putrid .143 batting average with runners in scoring position.
If Duda can somehow figure out how to hit more than .143 in baseball’s most critical juncture, he may pass 45 RBI this season.
In a season plagued by embarrassingly poor outfielders, Eric Young Jr. has been great since his arrival from the Colorado Rockies. It does not take much to make more of a contribution than Collin McHugh, but Young has provided a nice spark.
Terry Collins can’t ask for much more than a .360 batting average out of his new leadoff hitter. In fact, he’ll probably get far less than that.
Young Jr.’s batting average will drop significantly sometime soon. It’s just a matter of when.
Jordany Valdespin is not the man right now.
The lively, multi-position playing 25-year-old is hitting just .202 on the year and .175 in June.
There isn’t much to say when it comes to Valdespin other than he’s not playing well, he’s making bad plays in the field and it won’t turn around until he sees more time (if he sees more time).
If there is one thing for sure, it’s that Juan Lagares’ bat isn’t what is keeping him in the lineup. He owes that to his defense, which is admittedly exceptional and has resulted in 10 defensive runs saved.
He is getting his chance to play every day and showed a semblance of the ability to do so when he racked up seven hits in five games last week, but good fielding can only cover up bad hitting for so long.
It’s hard to say whether Lagares can make enough of an impression to stay on this team for the remainder of the season, but his task would get much easier if he could hit.
Like a significant amount of players on this New York Mets team, Josh Satin is being kept around and receiving playing time until a better option comes along.
In Satin’s case, that option would be Ike Davis. But until the Mets front office decides Davis has paid his dues in timeout, Satin will be sticking around.
His presence has not been a blessing, but his .267 average and occasional timely hitting have been helpful. Either way, Satin will be back in Triple-A sooner rather than later.
Eleven-year veteran Marlon Byrd drove in 53 runs in 2011 and 2012 combined. This season, the 35-year-old right-hander already has 36 ribeye steaks.
You could make the argument that Byrd has been the second-best hitter in the New York Mets lineup, but his 34 percent strikeout rate would be hard to argue around.
Despite that, I think it is highly possible Sandy Alderson finds a trading partner for Marlon Byrd as the trade deadline nears. Byrd is not a guy who can return a slew of prospects, but a high-reward guy is reasonable depending on who that trade partner may be.
On the other hand, if Byrd fails to perform, he’ll remain in town.