The New York Mets have had a difficult season injury-wise, yet they still lead their division, the National League East, by several games.
Here are some of the obstacles they will need to overcome if they want to win it all in 2021.
3. Health Issues
To say the Mets have had injury issues in 2021 would be an understatement.
Every team has to deal with injuries eventually, but the Mets at one point had 17 players on the injured list.
They could almost fill an entire roster of injured players.
They are slowly, but surely, getting healthy.
Even ace Jacob deGrom had to visit the injured list at one point with a right side issue.
The Mets were able to keep afloat and lead their division even with that many players being hurt.
Good morning! The Mets are 4 games over .500 and have a 2.5-game lead in the NL East despite a rash of injuries 🙌 pic.twitter.com/2JPxzbWgrK
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 28, 2021
Getting back to full health will be huge for their chances of making it to October.
2. The Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, And Los Angeles Dodgers
The New York Mets are built to win the World Series in 2021.
Their roster may not be perfect, but the pieces are in place to make a deep run in the playoffs.
The #Dodgers may be in third place in the NL West, but they remain the favorites to win the World Series, per @betonline_ag, and the #WhiteSox have eclipsed the #Yankees as the AL pennant favorites. The top 5 World Series favorites: Dodgers, #Padres, WhiteSox, Yankees and #Mets.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 1, 2021
To get there, players need to play their best ball, and even then, it may not be enough because of the fierce competition in the NL.
There is an argument to be made that the four best MLB teams are in the NL: the Mets, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox are in the discussion too, but the NL is very top-heavy.
For the Mets to win the division they have to top the Braves, and to get to the World Series they will need to eliminate either the Padres or Dodgers, most likely.
The Mets are deep and talented enough to advance anyway, but it won’t be easy.
The strong competition in the NL is just one of the obstacles the Mets will need to overcome if they want to win it all.
1. Past Bullpen Ghosts
In the past, the bullpen frequently came back to haunt the Mets, on more than one occasion.
The 2021 unit, however, hasn’t been bad at all if we go to the numbers.
They have the seventh-best ERA in MLB, at 3.47.
They also have the highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) with 3.0, according to FanGraphs’ version of the stat.
However, we have seen the Mets bullpen implode too many times in the past few years that we are just getting defensive.
If the unit continues to excel, the Mets will have a very good chance of making a deep playoff run.
Let’s just say that the bullpen inefficiency is an obstacle that showed up a lot in recent seasons, but the Mets have, at least so far, cleared it in 2021.