At first glance, it seems like the Mets are contending on the backs of:
- David Wright
- Johan Santana
- A bunch of random goofballs
So I just looked at their Baseball Reference page again after writing that to see if I was being too snarky. Let’s see…Ike Davis is doing okay for a rookie…Mike Pelfrey is having one of Kirk Rueter’s good years…Angel Pagan is like Andres Torres, just more oxymoronic …I’m not sure I know what an R.A. Dickey is, but he’s taken time away from his career writing detective novels for young adults to screw around with a knuckleball…
Jose Reyes and Jason Bay are mehhing up the place, at least by their standards. Jon Niese is adjusting to the big leagues quite well. Somehow, and you can look it up, Jeff Francouer isn’t taking walks and Luis Castillo isn’t hitting for power. The team OPS+ is 95, and the team ERA+ is 108. It’s the definition of an average team, yet they’re just four games out of first place. Other than Wright and Santana, the people doing well for the Mets aren’t the stars. The team is doing alright because of a collection of homegrown-types and role players.
That’s just swell for them. I’m just not sure how they’re doing it. And I’m not going to predict that they’ll fade away, either, because it’s possible that Bay, Reyes, and a healthy Carlos Beltran will all go goofy in the second half. It’s not that the Mets don’t have talent on the roster; it’s that the talent on the roster isn’t necessarily why the Mets are in second place. It's a weird team.
Hitter to watch:
There I sat in the eighth round of my fantasy draft, wondering who to take. The wizards at CBS Sports (buy their products and/or services) had Carlos Beltran as the highest-rated player on the board. I needed pitching, though, and Ubaldo Jimenez was still there. Beltran was supposed to be back in the middle of May, CBS Sports wrote, and I knew I’d need the stolen bases. But Ubaldo was there, and I hadn’t taken a starting pitcher yet.
I chose Beltran. I stand by my decision. He’s the "Hitter to watch!" He’s going to be big – big! – in the second half.
Dammit. Also, from here on out, no one else is allowed to talk about their fantasy team because it’s really, really boring.
Pitcher to watch:
As a sucker for the knuckler, I’ve got to take some of this Dickey in. The only chance I have left to get to the major leagues is with a knuckleball – and I’ll get to practicing that right after my FIFA ’09 tournament is over – so I’m going to root for this guy in his non-Giant starts. The last time the Giants faced a knuckleballer, they didn’t flail away hopelessly like I thought they would, so maybe there’s a little hope.
The Giants will still flail away hopelessly at the knuckleball. Curse that demon pitch! Also, I’ll be sick of the Mets by, oh, Friday night. These four-game series are a bit much.