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 five were right, which was one more correct prediction than the previous season. Just missed getting another one right, as Jason Vargas finished with nine Quality Starts, one shy of my prediction of 10.
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.
It’s more of a challenge than normal to do predictions this year. Or, to be more accurate, it requires the reader to keep in mind that we’re only having 37% of a full season. If a total doesn’t seem to be all that impressive, or difficult to achieve, keep in mind the length of the season.
Dominic Smith will make more starts than J.D. Davis
Steven Matz will lead the team in Wins, with at least 7
Dellin Betances ends the year as the closer
Last year, 85 of Pete Alonso’s 155 hits went for extra bases. This year he finishes with over 50% of his hits as singles.
After posting a 5.52 ERA in 2019, Rick Porcello finishes with a sub-4.00 mark in 2020.
Amed Rosario, who last year had 15 HR and 19 SB, finishes with twice as many steals as homers
Michael Conforto adds 75 points to his 2018-2019 OPS total of .827
Jeurys Familia shaves three full runs off last year’s 5.70 ERA
Jeff McNeil tops David Wright’s franchise record of .963 for top OPS for a third baseman
Brandon Nimmo finishes with a higher SLG than Alonso
David Peterson makes more starts than Seth Lugo
Michael Wacha draws more Comeback Player of the Year support than Yoenis Cespedes
The Mets finish with the best record of any NL East team versus AL East competition
Jacob deGrom gives up 3 HR or fewer
After not hitting in more than seven straight games last year, Robinson Cano posts a double-digit hit streak. He still stinks, though.
Seemingly each year, someone responds that these don’t seem all that unlikely and then the majority of them don’t come true. Maybe in the crazy times of 2020, someone will remark how difficult these are and finally the 50% mark will be topped. A boy can dream.