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MLB Predictions / Previews: New York Mets

MLB Team Preview – NY Mets

Mets hoping bolstered bullpen gets them over the hump – At first glance, the New York Mets enjoyed a respectable season, winning 89 games and featuring a number of players that put on impressive seasons. In reality, it was another wildly disappointing year in New York. The Mets were met with yet another September swoon, dashing their postseason hopes despite a strong start to the season.

In what’s becoming a disturbing trend on MLB odds, New York wasted a decent first five months of the season with a lackluster effort during the final stretch run. After going 76-61 heading into September, the Mets barely played .500 baseball, going 13-12. Milwaukee snagged the Wild Card spot with just one more win. 

Many fans who bet on baseball, however, believe this year could finally be different. The biggest difference maker could be closer Francisco Rodriguez. The Mets blew 29 saves last season, third-worst in Major League Baseball. That’s where “K-Rod” comes in. The hard-throwing righty saved 60 games last year, his fourth-straight season with at least 40 saves. Admittedly, many of those were secured in shaky fashion, but the Mets will take any improvement they can get at the position. 

But wait, there’s more. In addition to K-Rod, New York picked up J.J. Putz, who saved 15 games last year (in just 46.1 innings), to be a set-up man. Putz had some injury issues a season ago, but he notched 76 saves in 2006 and 2007, so he’s another big toy for New York to play with. 

That starting rotation was solid if unspectacular last season, posting a combined 4.07 ERA. It features one of baseball’s premier pitchers in Johan Santana. Normally, Santana is a safe bet to chase on MLB lines, and the lefty put up some very solid numbers in his first year as a Met (16-7, 2.53 ERA, 206 strikeouts). Those numbers could have been even better had it not been for several blown saves by the bullpen. 

After Santana it gets a little murky. Mike Pelfrey and John Maine pitched well last year, but they don’t have much experience. The Pedro Martinez experiment is finally done, though it never really worked out well to begin with. 

Offensively, there’s a lot to like about New York, which finished second in scoring among National League teams. Third baseman David Wright had another monster season, hitting .302 with 33 homers and 124 RBIs. Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado will all be in the mix again this season. 

Delgado had a strange season. In the first 93 games he hit just .248 with 17 home runs, and many fans considered him finished. The old vet had a few tricks left up his sleeve, though, and he had a tremendous second half, hitting .303 with 21 homers in his last 66 games. New York could use a full season of Delgado at that pace but, at his age, that’s a tall order. 

Lastly, the Mets open the season in a new ballpark. Perhaps a change-of-scenery is just what the doctor ordered for the September-challenged Mets. New York has +600 odds to win the World Series, which shows how talented oddsmakers believe this team to be. The Mets are also getting +120 sportsbook odds as the favorite to win the National League East. That’s very realistic. The team has added the right pieces in the right places, and there’s no excuse for this roster to not make a very hard push for the NL East or Wild Card slot. If the Mets don’t come through this year, it’s probably time to rethink this thing.

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  1. The Mets are not going to blow 29 save oppotunities this season with the addition od K-Rod who should be able to shore up this area. That should be the difference giving them enough wins to outlast the Phillies.