St. Louis Cardinals against the National League: New York Mets
The New York Mets will look to defend their 2015 National League Title with a majority of their core intact heading into 2016. The St. Louis Cardinals will face the Mets six times this year.
2015 Record: 90-72
Notable Departures: IF Kelly Johnson, 2B Daniel Murphy, 3B Juan Uribe
Notable Newcomers: RP Antonio Bastardo, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B Neil Walker,
Against St. Louis in 2016: 3 games July 25-27 @NYM, 3 games August 23-25 @STL
Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Mets most certainly have it, and everyone else in baseball is envious of the electric arms in that starting rotation. The three-headed monster of Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard is easily one of the most dominant pitching trios we have seen in quite some time.
When you add in youngster Steven Matz and the ageless Bartolo Colon, there is little doubt that the Mets tout the premiere rotation in Major League Baseball. All five guys are capable of throwing 95+ mph, and outside of the 42-year-old Colon, no member of that rotation is older than 27. The Mets are not only loaded with starting pitching talent, but they are set up to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
The Mets have one of the game’s premier closers in Jeurys Familia, although the rest of the bullpen proved to be the Mets’ Achilles heel in the 2015 World Series. Relief pitchers not named Familia had a 6.23 ERA in the Fall Classic last year. While the Mets added bullpen veteran Antonio Bastardo this offseason, it seems that if there is a place to attack the Mets pitching staff, the middle innings are going to be it.
The Mets won the 2015 offseason simply by holding onto Yoenis Cespedes following his drawn out flirtation with free agency. They replaced second baseman Daniel Murphy with the switch-hitting Neil Walker. The Mets also picked up shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera for added shortstop depth in 2016.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- St. Louis Cardinals: Dan McLaughlin charged with DWI
- Cardinals News: Day 2 of Winter Meetings brings big rumors
- The St. Louis Cardinals are active in the shortstop market, per report
- Cardinals: Tommy Edman’s Value is Greater Than Carlos Correa
- Cardinals: Why St. Louis should make Sean Murphy their next catcher
The Mets were pretty average in 2015 offensively, checking in at 17th in runs scored with 683 on the year. Should they improve on their team .244 batting average (28th in baseball), they very well could see an uptick in offensive production in 2016.
The Mets will look to the likes of Cespedes, Lucas Duda and veterans David Wright and Curtis Granderson for run production. Outfielder Michael Conforto is a prime break out candidate in 2016. The 22-year-old former first round pick slashed .270/.335/.506 with nine home runs and 14 doubles in 194 plate appearances a year ago.
I am looking for the Mets to control the National League East right out of the gate in 2016. They will have a starting pitching advantage in just about every game they play, and I would be very surprised to see them win any less than 90 games this year. As far as I’m concerned, they are the National League favorites, regardless of what anybody on the north side of Chicago might think.
The Cardinals faced New York seven times in 2015, taking the season series by a count of four games to three. Of the three-headed monster of Harvey, DeGrom and Syndergaard, St. Louis only had to face Syndergaard in a July 17 matchup that the Cardinals won 3-2.
Next: St. Louis Cardinals against the National League: Washington Nationals
Forecasting how well the Cardinals might far against the Mets this year can be tricky. A lot is going to depend on starting pitching match-ups, along with how effective those talented Mets starters are in following up stellar 2015 campaigns. It may be a little boring of a prediction, but I see the Cards winning two of three in St. Louis and the Mets winning two of three in New York.