MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone makes some over/under predictions for the upcoming Mets season...
86.5 - Total wins
The roster is strong on paper, which is seconded by fan polls, expert commentary and reflected in countless prediction systems. My view is the same.
The Mets won 86 games last season after a terrible start to the year. I truly believe we'll see out of the gate a team that more closely resembles the group that went 46-26 during the second half of the season as opposed to the on-field disaster that kicked things off in 2019.
As is the case with most teams, the only thing standing in their way of the postseason is injuries. Otherwise, if healthy, they have enough depth and talent to at least compete for the Wild Card if not also compete for the division title.
The win total is based OddsShark.com's aggregate Vegas totals.
30.5 - Number of times Cespedes talks to reporters
Over, I guess, though based on what he told reporters earlier this week, I assume he would say, "Under."
It's fun when the occasional player makes a bold statement -- like when Pete Alonso talked recently about riding drunk on a parade float and hoisting a World Series trophy -- oh, I'm sorry, a piece of metal -- but I've never seen that happen with Cespedes in the four-and-half years he's been talking to the New York media.
Talk, don't talk, I think the only people that will notice or care will be reporters and talk show hosts.
43.5 - Home runs for Pete Alonso
Alonso is awesome. But, it'll be his sophomore season, which brings a ton of expectations resting on his shoulders. And, while I believe he has the mental toughness to fight through and accept those challenges, when coupled with opposing pitchers having had an offseason to make adjustments, it's hard to see how he repeats his 2019.
By the way, this would have been an easy "over" pick had Brodie Van Wagenen been able to put Kris Bryant or some other elite hitter behind Alonso in the lineup. Damn!
The number is based on the average predictions from systems used by FanGraphs.
.295 - Jeff McNeil's batting average
I'm a firm believer that McNeil will one day win a batting title. So, I have to pick the over here.
That said, if he's going to hit more than 20 home runs this season, which I see in other predictions, I think his chance of hitting above .295 decreases based on what we saw from him last season.
The number is based on the total average predicted from systems used by FanGraphs.
129.5 - Games played by Robinson Cano
Cano will see less playing time even if he's healthy for the entire season, which on its own is difficult to imagine.
It was obvious last year that -- even when strong -- he was at his best when getting periodic, multiple days off. This will be much easier to accommodate if Jed Lowrie is ready and able to be the team's super-utility infielder.
The number is the median using prediction systems on FanGraphs.
31.5 - Save total for Edwin Diaz
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. I pick the under because Luis Rojas can trust and turn to a variety of relievers this season during high-leverage situations. Dellin Betances and Seth Lugo -- even Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson -- all have experience in big spots.
0.5 - Number of on-field fights
I realize this is probably wrong given how few fights happen in baseball these days. However, thanks in large part to the collective swagger of Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman, combined with a winning team, I have a feeling they're going to get under the skin of a few teams. Bring it on!!
3.5 - Number of jerseys ripped off, on field, after a game
The Mets had eight walk-off wins in 2019. The shirtless, walk-off celebrations were a thing in 2019. But, like most 'things,' I have no doubt it'll quickly get played out in favor of a new trend. Salt and pepper shaker anyone?
3.5 - Number of Mets selected to All-Star team
Based solely on popularity and reputation, Alonso and Jacob deGrom will be on the roster.
McNeil will get in if he's mostly playing third base this season. As an outfielder, it'll be more difficult.
In addition, Noah Syndergaard, Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto, among others, all have the talent and trajectory to be considered for the Midsummer Classic. And since I'm picking the team to win more than 86 games, I trust at least two of the above players are exceeding expectations.
In that reality, being a team from New York, the Mets will no doubt have four All-Stars.
12.5 - Total wins in June
If I think they'll win more than 86 games and challenge for the division and Wild Card, I have to believe they'll win more than 12.5 games in June, which would mean going at least 13-13.
Why does this matter?
Because during each of the past few seasons, June has seemingly been a pivotal month for these guys.
For instance, the Mets would've won the final Wild Card spot last season had they gone just 14-14 in June instead of 10-18. In 2018, though a .500 month in June would still have had them falling short of the Wild Card, they would have been in contention.
This June will be different, despite spending the month playing the Astros, Nationals, Phillies, and Cubs.
The team's young players are more mature and experienced.
This time around they know what's coming and how to manage it.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is a senior writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime.