Based on the comments posted on this site, most of you are biased Mets fans. That is to say that none of you are realistic. A few of you optimistically see everything falling into place and the Mets win 110 games en route to their third World Series. A few others have had their hearts broken too many times over the years and assume the season will be derailed by injuries, off-years, bad calls, and questionable transactions. Somewhere in between, there’s a sweet spot where not every pitcher gets injured, but not every hitter has a career year. In this case, the Mets win somewhere between 85 and 90 games and compete for a playoff spot. Las Vegas gives the Mets 12-1 odds to win the World Series, tied with the Giants for the 7th best shot. The Cubs lead the way with 7-2 odds, followed by the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, and Astros.
This is what the experts – FanGraphs, ZiPS, USA Today, Las Vegas odds makers, etc. are predicting for 2017. While their respective formulas may vary, all are based objectively on past performance, expected outcomes, strength of division, payroll flexibility, farm system, etc. It doesn’t put us at the tip-top of the heap – a spot logically reserved for the defending champion Chicago Cubs, but it does put us in the top tier, and thus, in the playoff discussion.
Whichever source of off-season prognostication you trust, you’ll find that they all seem to divide the 30-team league into three distinct groups – 10 A teams who will compete for the playoffs, 10 B teams who will hover around .500 and might have a puncher’s chance if everyone stays healthy and they get a few breaks, and 10 C teams who are either rebuilding, tearing down, or just simply have too many holes in their roster to compete this season. The general consensus breakdown looks like this:
The A Teams
The Cubs, Red Sox, Indians, Astros, Dodgers, Nationals, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, and Rangers. These 10 teams all have talent on both sides of the ball and either made or just missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons. The experts call for these teams to each win at least 85 games.
The B Teams
The Blue Jays, Mariners, Yankees, Pirates, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, Rockies, Marlins, and Angels are all expected to more or less break even teams this year. These teams have aging stars, emerging youth, and most find themselves either a few pitchers short of a good rotation. Still, these teams aren’t that far off and with a few breaks could find themselves in the playoff chase come September.
The C Teams
The Reds, Brewers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Padres, A’s, Rays, Phillies, Braves, and Twins are all pegged to win 76 or fewer games. The Phillies, Braves and Brewers might all find themselves out of this category in a year or two, but for now, they don’t have enough talent to even sniff the postseason. The other teams in this group are not as far along in their rebuild, or perhaps still have some tearing down to do and some are in perpetual rebuild due to lack of payroll.