Phillies face tough 2021 season competition in NL East

Sixto Sánchez #73 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Sixto Sánchez #73 of the Miami Marlins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Shortstop Francisco Lindor #12, formerly of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

New York Mets

Up next is the new-look New York Mets, who made some splashes this past offseason.

Back in September, billionaire Steve Cohen bought the Mets away from the Wilpons and immediately wanted to treat the Mets more like a big market team. With this came Mets signings of catcher James McCann, starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, and reliever Trevor May — along with a blockbuster trade that sent them perennial Cleveland Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Looking at the projected Mets lineup, it looks stacked:

  1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
  2. Jeff McNeil, 2B
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS
  4. Michael Conforto, RF
  5. Pete Alonso, 1B
  6. Dominic Smith, LF
  7. J.D. Davis, 3B
  8. James McCann, C

When it comes to offense, this lineup is “gross” — with the only weak hitter being Brandon Nimmo. We should all probably expect a bounce-back season from Pete Alonso, with a higher wRC+ than 118. J.D. Davis might have also had a ” down” year with a 116 wRC+ in 2020.

The weakest part here is going to be the outfield defense with Dominic Smith not being the best guy to trust in the field. Smith has a career DRS of -7. The bench even has some solid players — like Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar, who should serve perfect roles as a  fourth outfielder and primary backup infielder, respectively.

The pitching side also looks really good. Here is their projected rotation:

  1. Jacob Degrom, RHP
  2. Carlos Carrasco, RHP
  3. Marcus Stroman, RHP
  4. Taijuan Walker, RHP
  5. Dave Peterson, LHP

Looking at this rotation, you would think this is really good as is — but apparently they should expect Noah Syndergaard to return in June. That can make this starting rotation even scarier to go up against. If we want to even compare this rotation the Phillies’, it is not very close.

The Mets bullpen has the potential to be very good also, headlined with Edwin Diaz and Trevor May. When we get past that, however, it could look shakey — with Dellin Betances not having a great 2020. On the bright side, expect a better ERA than right about 4 from Miguel Castro, with his 3.92 FIP and 3.30 xFIP. Jeurys Familia had a 3.71 ERA in 2020, and former Phillie Aaron Loup had a very nice season in Tampa.

Overall, this team looks really good and should be the division favorites. They have truly a great team all-around and should be a threat for years to come.