(Photo via chatsports.com)
In order to get back to the World Series, the Mets will have to get through the loaded National League. After a 2015 season which resulted in a World Series appearance and the emergence of one of the best young rotations in history, the Mets ceiling heading into the new season is sky high. However, the road to the World Series will not be an easy one, as the National League is filled with several teams that could all challenge for a World Series title.
The Giants signed both Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija and they will be paired up with Madison Bumgarner, while the Dodgers fired Don Mattingly, lost Zach Grienke and appear to be falling behind both the Giants and the new look Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs signed veteran John Lackey to solidify a rotation that already consists of John Lester and reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, while also acquiring talented outfielder Jason Heyward.
The Cardinals and Pirates both come into this season with teams very similar to what they had last year, but with revenge on their minds after early postseason exits at the hands of their division rival. The Nationals, who look to challenge the Mets in the NL East, hired Dusty Baker as their manager, signed former Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, and return this season with Max Scherzer and reigning MVP Bryce Harper. From all of the changes that have been made, I do not see Dusty Baker turning around the disappointing Nationals right away, the Cardinals and Pirates both have not done enough this offseason to win the division over the Cubs, and I see both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks struggling in a year of change for both teams.
In the end, I see the Giants and Cubs being the two biggest threats to the Mets in the National League, as both teams boast very good rotations that could compete with the Mets’ young arms, and also have postseason experience that always seems to prove crucial come October. Although I do believe the Mets are good enough to get back to the World Series and even win it this time around, the road back will not be a walk in the park as some fans may expect.
– C. Homola