2024 New York Mets Season Outlook

2024 New York Mets Season Outlook

The saying “there’s always next year” has unfortunately become representative of the Mets fanbase over their many years. The good news for Mets fans is: next year is upon us! We can put the 2023 season, which was one of the most disappointing seasons in team history, in the rearview mirror and gear up for another season of Mets baseball!

A lot has changed for the Mets since opening day of last season. The 2024 Mets will hit the field this season with a new manager, a new GM/President of Baseball Operations, and many new offseason acquisitions, mixed in with some familiar faces. Expectations for this team are also wildly different than the expectations of the 2023 team. After the 2023 Mets (who were projected to be potential World Series contenders) fell flat on their face and sold off many veteran pieces to acquire prospects mid-season, the 2024 Mets are expected to be a .500 team (81-81 projected record, per FanGraphs) who can sneak into the playoffs as a wild card if everything falls into place. With Spring Training games underway, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what we can expect out of this 2024 ball club.

Strength: Lineup

This Mets team has many question marks, but the lineup is not one of them. If the Mets are going to be competitive this year, this will be the group they rely on. The core of the lineup are faces Mets fans have been relying on for years now: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso. Nimmo is coming off a career year at the dish after flashing some surprising power (24 home runs) and his bump over to left field with the arrival of new centerfielder Harrison Bader (one of the better defensive centerfielders in the game) should only benefit his production. McNeil, a former NL Batting Champion, is actually coming off a down year in 2023 that saw him post a .270 AVG with minimal power. Despite FanGraphs projecting another sub .300 AVG season, I believe McNeil is still an excellent contact hitter and will return to form as a consistent bat at the top of this lineup.

Francisco Lindor finished 2023 with 31 home runs and 31 stolen bases, he will return as one of the best shortstops in the game. Pete Alonso is entering a contract year, and the Polar Bear is projected to be at the top of the league in home runs once again. Starling Marte is getting older and coming off a season where he struggled through injury, but as long as he remains healthy (fingers crossed, knock-on-wood, etc) he should be as consistent of a hitter and base stealer as he has been his entire career. With outfielders Harrison Bader and Tyrone Taylor, plus corner outfielder DJ Stewart, this should allow the Mets to give Marte adequate rest to keep him fresh throughout the year.

Francisco Alvarez looks to build off his 25 home run rookie season with a strong sophomore season. FanGraphs projects him to match his power production with another 25 homers this year. It would be nice to see him raise his batting average and on-base percentage, but that would just be a bonus if he can hit 25 homers. If these six players stay healthy and play up to their expectations, this lineup should be more than capable of keeping the team in games throughout the season.

Weakness: Starting Pitching

The 2024 Mets sport a pitching staff that looks WILDLY different than the one trotted out in 2023. This offseason, new GM David Stearns opted to sign depth to fill out the pitching staff following highly sought after Japanese free-agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s decision to join a star-studded LA Dodgers roster. In theory, I like the idea of having quality depth of arms who can eat innings when the studs are not pitching. However, after the heartbreaking (but somehow almost expected at this point) news that Kodai Senga will start the season on the IL, the Mets have nothing even resembling an ace pitcher on the roster. 

Jose Quintana will most likely be the opening day starter, and he is a career 3.74 ERA pitcher over his 12 years of MLB service. Quintana is another guy coming off an injury ridden 2023, although he did post a 3.57 ERA in 13 starts last year when he returned. I think this veteran lefty will put together some quality outings for the Mets this season, but I’d be lying if I said there wouldn’t be games where he gets beat up.

Adrian Houser and Sean Manaea are both offseason acquisitions who fall into the “good not great” category of pitcher. Houser is coming off an 8-5 record with a 4.12 ERA in Milwuakee last season. Manaea posted a 7-6 record with a 4.44 ERA in San Francisco. Again, I’m sure these two will give us some quality starts, but neither is a shutdown guy by any means and there will be plenty of bad mixed in with the good. I’m higher on Houser than I am Manaea, personally.

Lastly, the projects. Tylor Megill returns to the Mets attempting to lock down a spot in the rotation. The big righty has struggled in his time in the big leagues, but does have a lively fastball and has apparently been working on a splitter this offseason, so that will be something interesting to watch in Spring Training. Luis Severino was once a two-time all-star and Cy Young contender for the crosstown rival Yankees, but he has fallen quite a long way since those days. Battling through injury for multiple years now, Severino was beaten up badly by opposing teams in the 2023 season. The Mets signed him as a guy with a potentially high upside, but again, with Senga out to begin the season and many question marks throughout the rotation and the team, they can’t afford for him to be a 6.00 ERA pitcher. 

Joey Lucchesi and Jose Butto are also names to look at to make starts this year. Lucchesi is a 31-year-old crafty lefty who has had some success with the Mets in small sample sizes. Butto is a 26-year-old who has not had much success yet at the MLB level, but at a young age he still has time to develop.

To sum up the starting rotation in one word: underwhelming. Can some of these guys exceed expectations and can the unit collectively put up decent numbers? Of course. But unfortunately, I think that decent/good range is the ceiling for this group. The floor, on the other hand, appears to be disastrous. If all of these guys fall flat and shit the bed, which is definitely not impossible, that would be the recipe for a long, long season in Queens.

Wild Cards: Bullpen, Baty/Vientos, Rookies, Manager

The bullpen might be the most intruiging part of this Mets team. GM David Stearns has grown a reputation for his ability to build a bullpen, dating back to his days in Milwaukee. The most notable addition to this bullpen is not an offseason acquisition, it is the return of the 2022 NL Reliever of the Year, Edwin Diaz. The ninth inning will arrive, the trumpets will blare, the people in the crowd will dance, and watch him strikeout seemingly every batter he faces. He is an enormous part of this team.

Then there is fellow returning bullpen arms in Brooks Raley and Adam Ottavino. Raley has put together two consecuitive seasons of sub 3.00 ERA ball (one with the Mets, one with the Rays). He’s expected to continue to be an anchor in the back end of the bullpen. Ottavino certainly regressed last season, but he has given the Mets quality innings over the previous two years. Although, there is concern that Ottavino’s regression will continue as he enters his age 38 season. It also concerns me how little interest he received on the free agent market this offseason. He actually declined the Mets $6 million dollar player option, and ended up re-signing for only $4 million, which is a testament to nobody offering him what he thought he was worth. A traditional late inning setup man, it may be wise to use him in less high-leverage situations this season.

Drew Smith is a returner who I can’t seem to gauge. To keep it simple: the stuff is there, the consistency has not been. Smith struggled last season after putting together a decent 2022, and an exceptional 2021. It is not great that he has been getting worse on a year-to-year basis, but at age 30 he is young enough to make the corrections necessary to have a bounce back season. Really unsure what we will get from him.

The Mets signed multiple relievers to build the bullpen depth and they are interesting cases. Which Jake Diekman will we see? The one who couldn’t get an out for Chicago (AL) for 13 games? Or the one who was seemingly unhittable for Tampa through 50 appearances? To be determined, but another lefty for the bullpen regardless. Then there is Shintaro Fujinami. If you check the stats you’d never know that this 6’-6” righty throws over 100 MPH with a wicked breaking pitch. He has all the tools in the world, but has yet to show that he can use them effectively. The Mets also signed Jorge Lopez, who is simply not great. One time all-star, but a career 5.51 ERA, and the sample size is not small.

If nothing else Stearns has collected a group of arms that throw from different arm angles at different speeds, which many believe is the key to putting together a strong bullpen. The ceiling is high, the floor is low, we can only hope that pitching coach Jeremy Hefner can maximize this group’s potential. There are many names I did not mention who can step up and surprise us as well.

Speaking of potential, the Mets opted this offseason to pass on expensive veterans to fill the roles of third base and DH. That is because David Stearns has decided that he needs to see whether or not Mets top prospects Brett Baty and Mark Vientos can reach their full potential in the big leagues. Both players were on the 2023 roster and both struggled, mightily at times. Baty was given more consistent playing time at third base throughout the year and hit a dreadful .212 over 108 games. Vientos, on the other hand, was brought up after tearing the cover off the ball in the minor leagues, but was never given the chance to receive consistent playing time to prove himself. So while he struggled as well during the 2023 campaign, I think it’s important for us to re-evaluate after some steady playing time. He flashed some legitimate power down the stretch last year. The progression of these two players will greatly effect the performance of the team this year, but also has implications for how the Mets will buy in free agency over the next few years.

Between all the projects on the starting rotation, in the bullpen, and certain areas of the lineup (as well as a handful of talented rookies who will be mentioned in another post), development is a key theme of this team. The man who will be chiefly responsible for this tall task is first-year manager Carlos Mendoza. Mendoza previously served as an assistant coach under Yankees’ Manager Aaron Boone. Tough to tell what to expect out of a new manager, especially one with no prior experience, but I’m sure we will get a good gauge on his managerial style after about a month of play. For what it’s worth, he was a sought after candidate by many teams this offseason, and I really like the way he’s carried himself as the manager so far.


I think this is going to be an exciting year for the Mets. There are a lot of things that need to go right for this team to make the playoffs. I think there are going to be a handful of surprises this year that people don’t expect and there’s opportunity for some guys to become fan favorites with some good play, considering expectations are so low.

Ultimately, I think there are too many question marks for this team to make the playoffs, I think the projected 81-81 record is a fair assessment of this team. I expect a strong April, but a slow grind throughout the season and a narrow miss of the final wild card spot.

Let’s hope I’m wrong, and Let’s go Mets.


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