The 2019 Mets will rely on Zack Wheeler for success

There are many things that one could point to as what could make or break the New York Mets in 2019. The first, and always the first thing on everyone’s mind is health. It seems like a rare occasion now when the Mets can escape a season without becoming derailed due to injury. With that priority aside, one can look to a player to hinge the success of the season upon. Michael Conforto, if he puts together a complete season, can be a player that makes or breaks the Mets. However, there is another Met that has the potential to have an even bigger impact on how the team finishes.

Zack Wheeler had the best season of his career for the Mets last season, and one of the best second halves of any starting pitcher in baseball. Wheeler flat-out dominated his opponents after the midway point of the season, going a sparkling 9-1, with an ERA of 1.68. His opponents hit .179 against him in the second half. To say that Wheeler found himself would be an understatement. He has also seemingly picked up where he left off from, striking out four Cardinals in 5.1 innings on Thursday. He also did not walk anyone, and only gave up two hits.

It is a big year for Wheeler. He is an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of the season. This most likely means that he will be pitching his absolute best for the money in the offseason, which should be enough to make opponents shake in their boots. The Mets have one of, if not the best 1-2-3 combinations in baseball after you throw Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in front of Wheeler. Their best competition sits in the same division, as the Nationals boast the not too shabby trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and the newly-acquired Patrick Corbin.

The last name of that trio is exactly why Wheeler will have such an impact on this team. In a three game series, the Mets have the potential to have an automatic advantage just because of the depth that the trio gives them. While things might not always line up perfectly for a deGrom-Syndergaard-Wheeler weekend, there is always a good chance that you will see two out of those three elite pitchers in the same series. Getting to the point where he can be an ace has been a priority of Wheeler’s, as he himself told Tim Healy of Newsday that “Everybody wants to be at the highest peak there is. We just happen to have two guys who are basically already there on our team. It’s my goal to get there. Last year, I think I found that. Hopefully I can continue.”

Wheeler has the potential to turn this rotation from good to the best in baseball. If he, deGrom, and Syndergaard can all pitch healthily and at the elite level that they are capable of, the team is able to compete for a division crown. Mets fans who are excited to see the trio in action against tough competition are in luck, as the Mets open the season against the Washington Nationals, and their power trio.

4 comments for “The 2019 Mets will rely on Zack Wheeler for success

  1. BVac
    March 16, 2019 at 10:18 am

    The first series does certainly look exciting. I just wanted to further the point and say Wheeler is even more important to the Mets because the Nationals have a little more depth it seems. While entering the offseason lacking options they acquired Anibal Sanchez and Jeremy Hellickson while the Mets are just hoping Oswalt’s spring numbers will translate. All of this makes Zack’s 2019 that much more critical.

  2. March 16, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I half expect the Mets to break up the lefties, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Matz get the third start of the year and Wheeler the fourth.

    • March 16, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      That would be silly Matz and Vargas couldn’t be different pitchers and Mickey talked like Wheeler will start the third game.

    • Metsense
      March 16, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      My convoluted thinking is also to break up the two lefties but I think Vargas should get the second start then have Wheeler, Syndergaard and Matz. Having deGrom in between the two weak links in the rotation is more stable. Vargas is on a roll and Matz is having difficulties and would miss the Nationals and draw the Marlins instead. Every edge is needed to be found in this balanced Eastern Division.
      At this juncture, Wheeler is the better pitcher than Syndergaard.

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