New York Mets

The New York Mets may be coming off a 90-win season, but that doesn’t mean that Fangraphs, the popular advanced stats site, is jumping on New York’s bandwagon — yet.

By Justin Weiss

Despite an enviable rotation, bullpen and lineup, Fangraphs isn’t yet anointing the New York Mets as the NL East favorites.

This comes with a few caveats: one, New York is still forecasted to make the playoffs; two, the system, Steamer, focuses greatly on the advanced stat WAR (wins above replacement); and three, pitchers are usually expected to garner higher ERA’s than they actually do in real-life.

Still, the stat is typically regarded as mathematically sound, and even if you don’t believe in advanced sabermetrics or preseason predictions, this should serve as a reminder that the Mets aren’t and shouldn’t be going into the 2015 MLB seasons as the league favorites, even if they truly are.

NL East 2016 Projected Standings
Team G W L W% RDif RS/G RA/G
Nationals 162 88 74 .544 64 4.38 3.98
Mets 162 86 76 .529 41 4.14 3.89
Marlins 162 81 81 .501 1 4.13 4.13
Braves 162 67 95 .414 -126 3.76 4.54
Phillies 162 66 96 .405 -141 3.72 4.59

Fear the Fins? Per Fangraphs’ projected standings, the National League East may be a three-team race, rather than one only between the Mets and Nationals. The Phillies should stink — again, while the Braves will likely remain in rebuild-mode in 2015.

The lineup:

Travis d’Arnaud, C — 385 AB, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 71/34 SO/BB, 1 SB, .257/.320/.445
Lucas Duda, 1B — 467 AB, 23 HR, 70 RBI, 133/65 SO/BB, 2 SB, .238/.340/.435
Neil Walker, 2B — 503 AB, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 102/47 SO/BB, 3 SB, .258/.329/.427
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS — 451 AB, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 95/37 SO/BB, 6 SB, .243/.305/.393
David Wright, 3B — 392 AB, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 87/40 SO/BB, 5 SB, .266/.337/.410
Michael Conforto, LF — 482 AB, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 100/41 SO/BB, 3 SB, .260/.321/.435
Yoenis Cespedes, CF — 549 AB, 26 HR, 83 RBI, 129/34 SO/BB, 6 SB, .259/.305/.464
Curtis Granderson, RF — 552 AB, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 148/76 SO/BB, 10 SB, .232/.328/.411

Wright on the money. Not only does Fangraphs forecast David Wright to be one of the most effective hitters on the team, but they also anticipate him to play in more games than he’s participated in over the past couple of seasons. It would be a tremendous boost for Terry Collins‘ squad if Wright can effectively play through spinal stenosis.

The Grandy Man Can’t? Fangraphs believes that Curtis Granderson will seriously regress after breaking out in blue and orange last season. They predict that his walk total, slash line and stolen base amount will all decrease this season.

A Cespedes for the rest of us? Not so fast, Met fans. The recently re-signed outfielder won’t come even close to posting the same stats as he did in 2014. That could be problematic — especially because of #MetsTwitter.

Mets WAR Projections By Position
SP 2nd
RP 17th
C 8th
1B 13th
2B 8th
SS 23rd
3B 11th
LF 6th
CF 13th
RF 12th

Shortstop remains an issue? It seems like the crucial middle infield position is a problem every year heading into the season. This year, Sandy Alderson actually spent money on Asdrubal Cabrera, although he is expected to post a mere 0.9 WAR.

With or without you? The signing of Yoenis Cespedes gives the Mets two more wins, and also a handful more runs. The signing of Neil Walker should roughly make up for the loss of Daniel Murphy, Fangraphs states.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.