The New York Mets were the big story at the trade deadline, going into full “sell” mode and shipping off some of their biggest-name players. The team has gone from playoff favorites and World Series hopefuls to a total focus on rebuilding from the ground up. The Mets World Series odds reflect that new reality.
Today we’re looking at how the Mets got here. We’ll look at it through the lens of New York Mets odds: How the World Series futures odds declined to this point in the year, and why Steve Cohen and Buck Showalter have gone from the biggest budget to the biggest rebuild in the league.
More on the Mets’ disappointing season
To say the Mets season has been disappointing is an understatement.
They ended their 2022 regular season breaking 100 wins and among the top favorites to win the World Series. When they couldn’t make it out of the Wild Card round, fans thought that 2023 would be their year.
Steve Cohen was pumping money into contracts, and the team was loaded with talent. They had a $353 million payroll, the highest in the league. They were going to win big.
Not so much.
The Mets are now 50-58 with no shot at glory in 2023. They have said goodbye to two future Hall of Fame pitchers, Justin Verlander ($86 million contract) and Max Scherzer ($130 million contract). Scherzer has said that the Mets aren’t planning to compete in 2024. They’re looking to the future.
So, how did they get here?
We’ve mapped out the changes to the Mets’ World Series odds through this season and the losses, failures, and bad luck that contributed to their decline.
Mets were initially 2023 World Series contenders
At the end of the 2022 postseason, the Mets’ odds were moving in the right direction with a few key offseason moves. They re-signed closer Edwin Diaz, picked up a few new pitchers from around the league, and acquired three-time Cy Young Award pitcher Justin Verlander from the Houston Astros.
The Verlander acquisition vaulted the Mets to their best position in the sportsbooks, peaking at +650 odds to win the World Series. In December 2022, they were tied with the Houston Astros for the best odds to win it all in 2023.
Up until Spring Training, the Mets, Astros, NY Yankees, and LA Dodgers vied for the top few spots at NY sports betting outlets.
As of February 13, 2023, the Mets were tied with the Dodgers as co-third choices to win the World Series with +750 odds. Ahead of them, the Houston Astros and NY Yankees tied at +650.
The first signs of trouble came early
Once the Mets started hitting the field for Spring Training, the cracks started to show. The team had 10 wins, 14 losses, and four ties. Their closer, Edwin Diaz, suffered a potentially season-ending injury in the World Baseball Classic in March.
By Opening Day, the Mets’ odds had lengthened to +900 (9-to-1), tied for the fifth spot with the San Diego Padres.
The Mets went 3-4 in their first seven games, but the real issues started in late April. A loss on April 22 to the San Francisco Giants started a slump where the Mets would not win more than one game in a row until May 17. In that time, they lost 16 of 22 games.
During that slump, the Mets’ odds lengthened to +1100 (11-to-1) by May 1. The odds kept lengthening to hit +1600 (16-to-1) by June 1, just to see the Mets go on a seven-game losing streak in the first week of June.
Mets 2023 season plagued by injuries
Some of that June slump can be attributed to key injuries on the team. Pete Alonso was hit in the left wrist by a 96 mph fastball from the Atlanta Braves Charlie Morton. He was out for just ten days, but his numbers suffered even after his return.
Through June and July, Pete Alonso hit the deepest slump of his MLB career. His average sank to .203, and his on-base percentage to .304 in late July. He hit just 10 homers in all of June and July. Last year he hit nine in June alone.
The Mets have suffered a lot of injuries this season, including Edwin Diaz, Max Scherzer, Tommy Pham, Jose Quintana, Starling Marte, Luis Guillorme, and Brandon Nimmo.
By July 1, the Mets’ odds to win the World Series had ballooned to +5000, or 50-to-1.
Pitching hasn’t helped matters
The Mets are currently ranked 19th in MLB for pitching. They have a collective ERA of 4.41 and one of the lowest strike percentages in the league.
Well before the trade deadline, analysts predicted the Mets would offload a few of their top pitchers. They traded Max Scherzer to the Rangers in late July. Then, they traded Verlander to the Astros right before the trade deadline on August 1.
On August 1, the Mets’ odds had grown to the longest of the season at +10000, or 100-to-1. By that point, fans and sports bettors alike could see that the Mets had given up on the 2023 season. They are in a full-scale rebuild.
Now, most New York sportsbooks have the Mets World Series Futures odds at 500-to-1 or more. Let’s hope they have a solid five-year plan.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews