With the recent success of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the dynasty that is the Houston Astros, it’s easy to overlook the New York Mets. Especially in NYC, where the Yankees suck the air out of almost every headline from across the Bronx.
But the 2022 Mets won 101 games and ranked third on both offense and pitching. It would seem that building off that success could make the 2023 campaign a franchise touchstone. The Mets 2023 MLB odds aren’t that bad…
This spring in Port St. Lucie, the affluent front office and second-year skipper Buck Showalter is treating the roster like a well-established menu at a fine restaurant: the chef may have some new dishes in mind, but for the most part, the prime rib is what brings the customers through the door.
Mets 2023 MLB Odds
With team owner Stave Cohen fixated on winning, the Mets should be considered a favorite in the National League. That’s what the oddsmakers say: Caesars New York lists the Mets at +375 to win the pennant, which is the same odds you’ll get for the Dodgers. The same sportsbook has the Mets at +800 to win the World Series. The team hasn’t won the title since 1986.
If there is a weakness for this team, it’s defensive efficiency. But, in today’s game, smacking the ball over the wall and striking out opposing batters can hide a mediocre defense.
Cohen is doing his best George Steinbrenner impression: pushing to win at all costs. Will that translate to flags flying over Citi Field?
If we know one thing from the Steinbrenner Era, just spending money and adding superstars to your roster doesn’t necessarily equate to titles.
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World Series Odds
Lead With Pitching: Future Hall of Famers Atop Rotation
There’s an old saying, “Maturity has to do with the experiences you’ve had, not how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.”
If that’s the case, the Mets have a lot to be excited about. No pitchers in baseball have the experiences that 38-year-old Max Scherzer and 40-year-old Justin Verlander have. The right-handers are teammates once again, with JV arriving in Queens as a free agent.
That’s great news because Verlander won his third Cy Young last season and helped the Astros to the World Series title. Just like back in their Detroit days, Verlander and Scherzer will compete against each other, which is going to make the Mets even better. When you have six Cy Young awards from two of your starting pitchers, that means you are basically slump-proof.
Someday Scherzer and Verlander will give speeches in Cooperstown. But don’t cast them in bronze yet: both are still ace-quality starters, and no other pitching duo in the game combines such an encyclopedia knowledge of working on the mound.
The Mets starting rotation will fill out with Carlos Carrasco, José Quintana, and Kodai Senga. That means Venezuela, Colombia, and Japan are represented on this team. Most importantly, with that pitching depth, the Mets will be in excellent shape to limit the innings their bullpen will have to work.
Jacob deGrom, who?
Mets Spring Training Questions
Who Plays Third Base?
When your name is Brett Baty, you better be able to hit a baseball. Luckily for Mets fans, the young infield prospect has proven that in his pro career, which only includes 11 games in The Show.
Cohen wasn’t able to consummate his relationship with Carlos Correa, who was going to play third base. Without the free agent, the Mets turn to Baty, who projects as the third baseman of the future. It’s almost certain Baty will take over at the hot corner in 2023, the only question is when. Given the talent in this lineup, no one will expect him to be David Wright. No, the youngster can progress at the pace most rookies do.
Until Baty earns the starting job, expect to see veteran jack-of-all-trades Eduardo Escobar get ABs at third.
When Will Vientos Make the Team?
Like Baty, corner infielder Mark Vientos made his MLB debut in 2022. He rates among the Top 100 Prospects, according to MLB.com (for whatever that’s worth). The Mets will give him plenty of trips to the plate in Florida this spring.
Whether Vientos goes north is up to how he hits the ball against left-handed pitching, which is his strength. It’s possible Showalter uses the rookie on a DH platoon, even as early as opening day. Last season at Triple-A, Vientos hit 24 home runs, adding another in a Mets uniform.
Projected Mets Lineup 2023
- Brandon Nimmo, CF
- Starling Marte, RF
- Francisco Lindor, SS
- Pete Alonso, 1B
- Jeff McNeil, 2B
- Daniel Vogelbach, DH
- Mark Canha, LF
- Eduardo Escobar OR Brett Baty, 3B
- Omar Narváez, C
Few teams are in spring training, knowing nearly every piece of their lineup like the Mets. That peace of mind allows the team hierarchy to focus on the bench, platoon opportunities, prospects, and bullpen.
Speaking of the bullpen, the Mets were in a good position, with closer Edwin Díaz (0.90 FIP in 2022), and setup men Adam Ottavino (10.8 K’s per 9IP), David Robertson, and former Tampa Bay arm Brooks Raley, a superb lefthanded specialist. With Díaz suffering an injury, New York will have to look to fill that spot. The good news, Raley is expected to be ready by the start of the season.
Photo by: Lynne Sladky/AP Photo