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N.Y. Mets Predictions | 2011 Season Betting Preview

2011 MLB Team Preview: New York Mets

Hard to believe, as many of us watch the snow fall outside, that the Boys of Summer are almost back. But it’s true; teams will report soon to 2011 Major League Baseball training camps and it’s time to start our team-by-team baseball gambling previews for the year.

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Mets Calender

FEB. 1-18, 2011 – Salary arbitration hearings
FEB. 14, 2011 – Voluntary Spring Training reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players
FEB. 19, 2011 – Voluntary Spring Training reporting date for non-pitchers and catchers
FEB. 26, 2011 – Mandatory Spring Training reporting date for all players

For a team traditionally known for having deep pockets and throwing big money at free agents, it was strange to see the New York Mets essentially sitting on their hands this past offseason. It’s true, however, that they had horrible luck in 2010, from Jason Bay’s concussion to Francisco Rodriguez hurting his hand while fighting his girlfriend’s father. Maybe the Mets think they can improve from within this season from better luck alone.

NEW YORK METS
World Series odds: +6000

Will the Mets be an above-average offensive team in 2011? They believe so, even though Citi Field is solidly established as a pitcher’s park.

After a strangely horrible 2009, David Wright bounced back last year and posted his usual stellar across-the-board numbers. The third baseman remains this team’s franchise player and is a fair bet to be a .300 hitter with 25-plus homers, 100 RBI and 20 steals again this year. However, Wright may be the one sure thing in the Mets’ lineup.

Jose Reyes remains a special talent but his numbers were strangely ordinary last season, as he hit just .282 with 83 runs scored and 30 steals. For the Mets to contend, Reyes needs to become an elite leadoff man again. Bay followed up a career year in 2009 with the Red Sox with a terrible and injury-plagued 2009 debut with the Mets. We can presume he’ll bounce back but, then again, he’ll be 32 on opening day. He’s not exactly a spring chicken.

Following that trend – Carlos Beltran is another guy whose best years are behind him and who will probably never be the superstar he once was now that injuries have ravaged his body. Can the Mets really count on him to be a middle-of-the-order run producer?

Ike Davis is the intriguing wild card. He flashed some pop with 19 homers as a rookie. If he can build on that performance, it would go a long way toward keeping the Mets’ bats competitive.

Still – it’s hard to feel great about the Mets’ 2011 prospects when you see that shaky lineup and realize that it’s still supposedly the “strength” of this team. The Mets’ pitching staff could be among baseball’s weakest. Johan Santana’s shoulder surgery will keep him out until the summer, leaving Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese, R.A. Dickey and Chris Young to lead the rotation.

Young has always been talented but can never stay healthy; Pelfrey is an innings eater at best; Dickey had a career year last season at age 36. Can you say anomaly?

As long as Francisco Rodriguez is back healthy and getting the ball for the ninth inning, the Mets’ bullpen should be fine. But K-Rod has a combined 60 saves in his two seasons with the Mets after saving 62 games in his final year with the Angels. The opportunities just aren’t there in New York.

2011 OUTLOOK

I see more pain and suffering ahead for the Mets. While they still have a few offensive studs, too many of their go-to guys are aging and injury-prone. Their pitching staff looks like a disaster. I just can’t see this team possibly competing with the Braves or Phillies in the East. At best, the Mets could battle their way to third, but even that’s a stretch.

Prediction: 4th, National League East

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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