The 2020 Mets 60-game schedule is precisely what the team and franchise needs. Filled with minefields, it’s all or nothing for this underachieving team.
The 2020 Mets that we’ll see taking the field to face the San Francisco Giants in the season opener have been racked and almost ruined by an inept and debt-ridden ownership team.
Added, we see a stumbling front office, and, for the most part, a well-deserved onslaught by fans and New York media detailing all the dysfunction.
But the one thing that never seems to waver is the players who gather in the clubhouse, somehow putting the blinders on to the circus around them – seeking only to maintain a will to win.
The 2019 Mets didn’t win anything, failing again to qualify for the postseason. But the run they put on in the second half was self-propelled by the 25 men in that clubhouse.
Standing at 40-50 before the All-Star Break, the Mets put together the best record in baseball since the break, 27-10 by late August, and went on to finish the season well over .500 but still short of the postseason.
Propelled by the record-setting performance by Pete Alonso in the Home Run Derby, and the ongoing assault by Jacob deGrom to win a second consecutive Cy Young, the persona of the Mets changed (seemingly) overnight.
2020 Mets: Surviving And Thriving In The Undertow
That same confidence carries over to the 2020 Mets, but the road that lies ahead is a treacherous and difficult one to navigate.
The revised 2020 MLB schedule, while still subject to change, pits the Mets playing NL East opponents for two-thirds of the regular season 60-game schedule.
In addition to the 40 games (10 each) against the World Champion Washington Nationals, last year’s Division winner Atlanta Braves, and the up and coming Phillies serve as credible and challenging competition for the Mets. Additionally and in the background, lurk the Miami Marlins as spoilers.
The kicker comes in-between when the 2020 Mets will be pitted against teams in the American League East. For fans of either team, it’ll be six games of excitement between the Mets and Yankees, plus six more versus Tampa Bay and still viable Boston Red Sox and Blue Jays teams.
2020 Mets: A Team At A Crossroad
With the almost certain sale of the Mets by Fred Wilpon and company by year’s end, front office personnel like Brodie VanWagenen, wary of buying the next Jason Bay as the Mets next bad acquisition, manager Luis Rojas, coaches, and other higher-up workers will (most probably) be glued to their seats.
Under the microscope of potential buyers, it’s virtually a certainty everyone will lay low, and the August trade deadline will pass without the mention of the New York Mets.
In turn, this will mean Mets players are in charge of their destiny – up or down – without fear of any major upheaval by an overzealous Van Wagenen to execute trades, for fear his job is on the line with any false move.
The players began the process of self-reliance and building confidence last year. That same team is intact minus Noah Syndergaard (out for the season) and the addition of two veterans to the pitching staff – Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha. Either or both can positively surprise.
MLB 2020: A Crapshoot Like No Other
It is said (quite accurately) that the initial rounds of the MLB postseason are a crapshoot. A lower-level team with 85 wins gets hot and knocks off a 100+ game-winning team in a five-game series, all decided by one or two runs – and the cry goes out – Foul!
But there is an element to the shortened MLB 2020 that takes your breath away in the same way. What if, for example, the two most heavily favored teams in baseball, the Dodgers and the Yankees, stumble out of the gate while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers supplant them in the postseason?
Though not as drastic as the Pirates or Tigers, the 2020 Mets are poised to achieve the same feat. But by no means would they be considered spoilers since Las Vegas installs them as 18:1 to win the 2020 World Series. This puts the Mets ahead of the Red Sox, Indians, Twins, and Cubs – and just behind the defending champ Nationals who come in at 16:1.
Can The 2020 Mets Bring It All Back Home
The Mets got a whiff of what winning feels like last year, and what a team must do to get there. Players have been chomping at the bit since then to carry on with what was started.
The awkwardness of the 2020 MLB shortened season impedes all teams, given the late start.
But if the 2019 Mets proved anything last year, it’s that the men in the dugout can strike out all impediments thrown their way by (arguably) the most dysfunctional franchise in baseball.
Most likely, with an impending sale of the team by year’s end, all positions of power in the Mets front office are rendered to “lame-duck” status until the new boss arrives.
This means the players in the Mets clubhouse control their destiny in meeting the challenges ahead, and this includes a steep and treacherous 60-game schedule that will answer the question:
Were the 2019 second-half Mets for real – or not?