Tuesday, March 8, 2011


If you play fantasy baseball, and I'd bet that if you are reading this, your either my mother... or you do, then you know that Yahoo and ESPN and CBS and every other fantasy sports web-site will predict before the season how players will do. These predictions come courtesy of ESPN.com and reflect the expert opinions of their fantasy gurus. Today's article is a diversion into where I see the Mets finishing... in relation to their predictions.

Jose Reyes, SS (S):
  • Avg: .286 (Even)
  • Slg: .441 (Even)
  • Runs: 86 (Over)
  • HRs: 12 (Under)
  • RBIs: 56 (Even)
  • BBs: 42 (Over... I hope)
  • SBs: 36 (Over)
Jose's numbers from ESPN reflect him not having a healthy season. That might be fair but I think that we should be basing the predictions on Jose being healthy as he seems to be that now. His HR totals should not be above 10 if he's still a Met for the full season but at the same time, Jose can and will steal more than 36 bags. If he's traded... all of these stats change... but... I probably then have to hate him.

Angel Pagan, CF (S):
  • Avg: .283 (Even)
  • Slg: .417 (Even)
  • Runs: 76 (Over)
  • HRs: 9 (Over)
  • RBIs: 62 (Over)
  • BBs: 40 (Even)
  • SBs: 30 (Under)
Angel Pagan is predicted to have an okay year but I get confused when his power numbers are lower than Reyes and his production of Runs and RBIs falls short of Jason Bay. I would also say that hitting 2nd all year would likely cut his freedom on the bases as the Mets don't want to take the bats away from Wright, Beltran, Davis and Bay with a caught stealing.

David Wright, 3B (R):
  • Avg: .294 (Over)
  • Slg: .517 (Even)
  • Runs: 95 (Over)
  • HRs: 25 (Over)
  • RBIs: 100 (Over)
  • BBs: 76 (Even)
  • SBs: 19 (Even)
Prior to the injury plagued seasons of Beltran and Reyes and the move to Citi-Field, David Wright was a defacto top 10 fantasy pick. He's still somewhere in the top 20 but he's definitely dropped. The average has been hurt, but as I've written before, that is partially due to a lack of production and support (Beltran hasn't exactly been there to back him up so often.) The HR totals are predicted to drop and the Runs and RBIs stay in the good but not GREAT range and I disagree. If Beltran and Reyes are healthy and Bay is some version of what he USED to be, Wright has a BIG year.

Carlos Beltran, RF (S):
  • Avg: .276 (Under)
  • Slg: .469 (Over)
  • Runs: 63 (Even)
  • HRs: 18 (Over)
  • RBIs: 68 (Over)
  • BBs: 64 (Even)
  • SBs: 10 (Under)
Say what you will about Beltran's knees. When he's been healthy... he hits. Though a .276 average seems a bit high. He's much more of a .250-.260 hitter. However hitting (all year) in the middle of the Mets order should net Carlos more than 68 RBIs as he's likely to hit closer to 25-30 HRs if he's healthy. HOWEVER... face facts and learn that Carlos Beltran will never reach double digit SBs again.

Ike Davis, 1B (L):
  • Avg: .272 (Even)
  • Slg: .473 (Over)
  • Runs: 74 (Even)
  • HRs: 22 (Over)
  • RBIs: 75 (Over)
  • BBs: 78 (Even)
  • SBs: 2 (Even)
ESPN bothers me when I look at Ike Davis. They take his 2010 numbers and replicate them for a full season and call it a prediction. This assumes that Ike Davis has REACHED his ceiling after 1 year. It doesn't touch on the fact that he's a 30 HR threat or that he's going to be hitting behind Wright and Beltran (maybe Bay) and the fact he was a consistent producer in his ROOKIE year.

Jason Bay, LF (R):
  • Avg: .268 (Even)
  • Slg: .454 (Even)
  • Runs: 85 (Even)
  • HRs: 19 (Even)
  • RBIs: 84 (Even)
  • BBs: 74 (Even)
  • SBs: 12 (Even)
If Bay is healthy and hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup all year... these numbers look accurate. This also assumes his 2010 was an aberration and that the Mets other players stay healthy. Most Met fans will gladly take these numbers from Jason Bay in his second year. Anything is better than what he did (while healthy) in 2010.

Daniel Murphy, 2B (L):
  • Avg: .280 (Even)
  • Slg: .445 (Even)
  • Runs: 37 (Over)
  • HRs: 7 (Over)
  • RBIs: 38 (Over)
  • BBs: 21 (Over)
  • SBs: 4 (Even)
At first glance you might think I differ GREATLY with ESPN. That isn't totally true. We differ on ONE key factor. I see Murphy as the starting second baseman, and they see him on the bench. On the bench, their numbers are accurate but over a full season you can probably multiply a lot of those numbers by 2... even if he's platooning.

Josh Thole, C (L):
  • Avg: .270 (Even)
  • Slg: .382 (Even)
  • Runs: 36 (Over)
  • HRs: 5 (Even)
  • RBIs: 36 (Over)
  • BBs: 35 (Over)
  • SBs: 2 (Over)
ESPN predicts that Thole and Paulino will be an even split. I can't agree less. Thole is a lefty and that will get him into more games alone. Add that Thole is the "Catcher of the Future" and that he hits for a higher average and is more consistent and I think we all know who is getting the lion's share of the playing time. The other issue I see is that ESPN over-looks the fact that Thole can run... for a catcher. He's not going to steal bases because of his speed, but because he has enough speed to take advantage of sloppy play.

Mike Pelfrey, SP (R)
  • ERA: 4.00 (Under)
  • Whip: 1.39 (Even)
  • BBs: 68 (Even)
  • Ws: 13 (Even)
  • Ks: 113 (Even)
  • IP: 207 (Even)
ESPN is pretty accurate with Big Pelf. I'm not sure if anyone in America looks at Mike and sees an Ace. I do see a pitcher who can keep you in games and maybe be looked at as a #3 pitcher. Even so... I don't see Pelfrey having a 20 win season for the Mets in 2011 and those 13 wins aren't a sure thing either.

Jonathan Niese, SP (L)
  • ERA: 4.36 (Under)
  • Whip: 1.46 (Under)
  • BBs: 69 (Even)
  • Ws: 11 (Over)
  • Ks: 153 (Even)
  • IP: 190 (Over)
Niese is the closest thing to an Ace that the Mets have this season. He can get K's at a decent clip and has shown the ability to be dominant. That ERA well North of 4.00 is a bit extreme from Jon as it seems ESPN predicts he should be getting worse with more time in the pros. I guess they view his tired arm issues as a sign he wasn't that good instead of a sign he'd thrown more innings then he had been used to.

R.A. Dickey, SP (R)
  • ERA: 3.89 (Even)
  • Whip: 1.30 (Even)
  • BBs: 53 (Even)
  • Ws: 10 (Over)
  • Ks: 107 (Over)
  • IP: 199 (Over)
Really ESPN? If there is one thing I've heard about knuckle-ballers it's that their arms get tired. ESPN doesn't see Dickey as the work-horse I believe he will be. He's not an Ace, nobody is saying that. He is a pitcher who can pitch deep into games. Also... if that slow knuckler is working that means he can be a fastball/change-up pitcher... except his balls dance a WHOLE lot more. If he can do that... the K's will follow.

Chris Young, SP (R)
  • ERA: 3.88 (Even)
  • Whip: 1.31 (Even)
  • BBs: 53 (Even)
  • Ws: 7 (Even)
  • Ks: 77 (Even)
  • IP: 102 (Even)
Now, I could take issue with Young's numbers being poor, but I can't expect ESPN to predict that Chris Young will pitch 200 innings. His arm just hasn't been that healthy. However, you can probably take this half-year estimate and do the math to come up with what his numbers would be as he reaches 150... 180 innings pitched. I like Young. It's hard not to. I'm hoping that he can just stay healthy.

Chris Capuano, SP (L)
  • ERA: 3.81 (Over)
  • Whip: 1.26 (Over)
  • BBs: 23 (Even)
  • Ws: 5 (Over)
  • Ks: 64 (Even)
  • IP: 85 (Even)
It seems that ESPN predicts Capuano AND Gee will both win that 5th starter job. I'll forgive them because it lets me not put Gee here. Capuano looks like the best option for 5th starter right now. He isn't great but he'll keep us in games. The thing with ESPN is that they adjusted his ERA and Whip to factor Capuano ALSO relieving. The more he starts... the higher the ERA and Whip. When Santana comes back, Chris moves to the bullpen or the Mets will simply have other injured pitchers for him to replace.

Johan Santana, SP (L)*
  • ERA: 3.13 (Over)
  • Whip: 1.25 (Even)
  • BBs: 33 (Even)
  • Ws: 7 (Over)
  • Ks: 91 (Even)
  • IP: 118 (Even)
Johan Santana will not pitch for the Mets until June (at the earliest) but he COULD get to 118 innings if he's back then. I'll point out that missing spring training and entering the year late, will not be the BEST FRIEND of his ERA but at the same time... if he getss those 118 innings, I think he'll get a few more wins. It all evens out.

I'm excited about the Mets season, even if it isn't one where my expectations are super high. I think that Collins and Alderson have the team on the right foot and if Santa's listening... maybe I even get new owners who know how to leave baseball to the baseball people.

No comments: