Fantasy Baseball 2018: What is going on with the Mets?

DENVER, CO - JUNE 18: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 18, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 18: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 18, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 but have been on a downfall since. What impact has that had on fantasy baseball?

The New York Mets have been on a roller coaster over the last few seasons. After their World Series appearance, the team, mostly the ownership, has made some interesting personnel decisions affecting the overall performance of the team. This has made things difficult for fantasy owners when drafting or adding players off the waiver wire.

The Mets made the World Series in 2015 but lost to the Kansas City Royals. The team was led by a dominant pitching staff featuring a rookie Noah Syndergaard, sophomore Jacob deGrom, veterans Matt Harvey and Bartolo Colon, 13 and 14 wins respectively. Closer Jeurys Familia recorded 43 saves.

The offense was carried by Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson, posting 25-plus home runs and 70-plus RBIs each. Yoenis Cespedes had an amazing second half with the team based on his 17 HR/ 44 RBI/.287 line in 57 games.

The next season wasn’t bad. The Mets earned a wild card spot but lost in the Wild Card game. The last season and a half have been completely different. The team finished fourth in the National League East, 27 games back of first place. The team suffered a lot of injuries, especially to the pitching staff. deGrom was the only starter the make over 23 starts.

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The Mets are in a similar situation this year, 11 games back of first. The team has dealt with more injuries to both the pitching staff and offense. Here’s a small recap of what their injury report looks like.

Syndergaard hasn’t pitched since May 25 because of a strained ligament in his right index finger. He isn’t expected back until early July. Reliever AJ Ramos was placed on the DL on Wednesday as he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and is expected to be out for rest of the season.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud is on the 60-day DL as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He may be ready by Opening Day next season. First baseman/outfielder Jay Bruce landed on the DL on June with a sore right hip and his return date is unknown. Cespedes hasn’t played since May 13 while dealing with a hip flexor and is finally resuming his rehab assignment.

The Mets also traded Harvey and cut Adrian Gonzalez. There have been reports about the Mets making more changes like demoting Michael Conforto. He is hitting .226 with nine home runs, 22 RBIs, 60 strikeouts and 38 walks.

Even the healthy players are feeling the effect of the sub-par lineup. deGrom is having yet another amazing season. In 15 starts, he has a 1.51 ERA, 0.986 WHIP, 11.3 K9 and 2.3 BB9. Those are great numbers. The negative is that deGrom only has five wins.

I’ve made my point multiple times on why wins is a bad stat to use for fantasy but it’s used by many. For a pitcher drafted as a top-10 pitcher, you’d expect more than five wins. However, he does have 11 quality starts.

Asdrubal Cabrera leads the team with 39 RBIs. Nimmo has a .287 batting average in just 178 at-bats. The counting stats for the offense is just as bad as the pitchers’.

The Mets batting order in their June 19 games was Nimmo (RF), Cabrera (2B), Conforto (CF), Todd Frazier (3B), Dominic Smith (LF), Wilmer Flores (1B), Kevin Plawecki (C) and Amed Rosario (SS). Don’t forget about veterans Jose Bautista, Devin Mesoraco and Jose Reyes still getting playing time.

No wonder why deGrom leads all Mets pitchers with five wins.

There is more speculation about the Mets trading one or both of their elite pitchers and some of their veteran hitters. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors suggests that the Mets could trade some of their cheaper vets.

"More realistic trade pieces would include impending free-agents Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia and Devin Mesoraco."

There is a big trade market for relief pitchers. More teams are stacking up top-tier bullpen pieces. Just look at Milwaukee, Seattle and Washington in recent months.

If any of them were traded, that would open up a starting job at second base or closer and create a part-time job behind the plate. But, with the current state of the Mets, would you want to add any player that fills in those spots? I wouldn’t either.

The highest rated Mets hitter, according to the ESPN Player Rater, is Nimmo at 51. The highest rated pitcher is obviously deGrom, eighth among all pitchers. The next man is Familia at 48.

Next: Manny Machado Trade Scenarios

Citi Field ranks at the bottom in hits, home runs, doubles and runs according to ESPN Park Factors.  Maybe if the hitters and pitchers left New York and played elsewhere, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Outside of deGrom, Syndergaard and Familia, it’s hard to find any consistent value on this team. An early strategy for 2019 is to avoid Mets hitters.