Each year with the predictions column I start by going back to the previous year’s piece. The goal is to get more than 50 percent right, while not making boring predictions. Not once in all of the years of doing this have more turned out right than wrong. Out of last year’s batch, only four were correct. However, it was essentially six. My prediction of when Adrian Gonzalez would be cut missed by all of 10 days while my forecast of Jason Vargas having fewer than 20 starts missed by one start, as he had 20. Still, six is less than half of the 15 things that were offered.
But you can’t be afraid to be wrong. No one wants to read a bunch of predictions like “the Mets will have a guy come down with a season-ending injury.” So here are a group of predictions that will range from head tilting to eyebrow-raising to outright aggressive. But these are all things I believe will happen, not ones made simply to be controversial.
1. Wilson Ramos hits more homers than Gary Carter (24) in 1986.
2. While he starts the year in the majors, Pete Alonso ends up spending some time in Syracuse and Mets still end up with the extra year of control.
3. Despite playing in at least 100 games this year, Robinson Cano posts a lower fWAR (2.9) than he did in 80 games last season.
4. After leading MLB with 22 HBP last year, Brandon Nimmo has half that number this season.
5. Michael Conforto becomes just the 10th player in team history with at least 500 PA to finish the year with a .400 or better wOBA.
6. Jacob deGrom finishes with at least 17 wins, the second-most by a Mets pitcher this century.
7. Zack Wheeler leads the team in IP.
8. Opposing batters record an OPS under .600 against Noah Syndergaard.
9. Steven Matz allows 10 more SB than Syndergaard.
10. After amassing just 4 QS in 2018, Vargas will notch 10 in 2019.
11. Seth Lugo spends the entire year in the bullpen and does not make a single start.
12. Jeurys Familia posts a better ERA (2.88) and WHIP (1.230) than he did last year with the Mets.
13. The Mets will have at least five players with 500 PA, after having just three last year, two in 2017 and three in 2016.
14. After using 29 different pitchers in 2017 and 30 last year, the Mets will not exceed 23 pitchers.
15. The Mets achieve at least 40 wins versus NL East competition.