It’s a new era of New York Mets baseball, and the new look 2021 NY Mets are coming into the regular season off a tremendous offseason.
With new owner Steve Cohen purchasing the team over the winter, they picked up one of the richest owners in baseball. Of course, early on in his tenure, Cohen made a big splash acquiring two big-time pieces in superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and veteran starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
They also picked up a new starting catcher, a lockdown versatile reliever, and legit major league quality depth on both sides of the ball. They easily came out as one of the biggest winners of the 2021 offseason.
Their regular season got off to a bit of a late start, as COVID issues postponed their season-opening series with the Washington Nationals. As a result, the Mets opened their season earlier this week in Philly.
After a rough series loss at the hands of the Phillies, the Mets now return to Queens to end this week taking on Miguel Rojas and the Miami Marlins for their home opener.
Let’s take a look at this upcoming three-game set.
2021 NY Mets Home Opener: Players to Watch
One of the biggest things to look for in this series is the Citi Field debut of superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Fresh off his new 10-year, $341 million contract extension, Lindor will for sure be looking to make an impact in front of the hometown fans right off the bat. Lindor is easily a Top-10 player in the game, and he is made for New York.
He was red-hot towards the end of camp, and certainly looked ready for the 2021 season. Lindor is just an all-around elite player in all facets of the game. He’s certainly going to be a guy to keep your eye on all season long for these New York Mets.
You’re also going to want to keep an eye on the much improved Pete Alonso in this home-opening series with the Marlins. The youngster looked absolutely tremendous throughout spring training, and during the series in Philly.
Alonso has continued hitting the ball hard to all fields with power, and has shown a much more patient approach at the plate. As numerous teammates said throughout camp, he has looked like the 2019 Pete.
Alonso seems to be absolutely dialed in, and looks like a force to be reckoned with at the plate. Look for the slugger to carry this success into what should be a monster 2021 season for the 2021 NY Mets first baseman.
2021 NY Mets Injury Report
The 2021 NY Mets are a little banged up to begin the season on the pitching side to start the season, but things certainly seem to be trending in the right direction. The club is short two relievers and two starting pitchers for the time being.
Let’s start on the starting pitching side of things. Carlos Carrasco dealt with some general soreness after receiving his COVID-vaccine, and then suffered a hamstring strain in camp. On Sunday afternoon, Mets manager Luis Rojas said the righty threw two innings in a sim game this week and is progressing really really well.
Noah Syndergaard recently hit 97 MPH during a side session in his return from Tommy John surgery. Carrasco is expected back around mid-May, and Syndergaard is expected closer to June. The eventual return of both starters will help strengthen an already solid Mets starting rotation.
In the bullpen, Seth Lugo underwent surgery to fix a loose bone spur in his elbow earlier this offseason. Rojas said Sunday that the crafty right-hander began throwing two days ahead of schedule, and he was playing catch from up to 75 feet this past week. Lugo certainly seems to be progressing pretty well.
Drew Smith, on the other hand, seems to be moving a bit slower. Smith experienced shoulder soreness in camp, and he has since started playing catch. Rojas said Smith has started ramping up distance, but the team is going to take it slow with him due to his past arm issues.
All things considered, not too shabby on the injury-front for the 2021 NY Mets to start the season.
2021 NY Mets Home Opening Series Probable Pitchers
Taijuan Walker makes his 2021 NY Mets debut in the home opener on Thursday afternoon. The right-hander is certainly fired up, as he expressed on Twitter earlier this week.
Walker impressed in spring training, showing good velocity and movement on his pitches. Over 11 innings of work, he posted a 3.27 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP while striking out seven.
Walker has said throughout camp he likes this group, and he’s looking forward to going to battle with them. If he can stay healthy, Walker could end up being a tremendous addition to this Mets rotation.
Jacob deGrom takes the bump on Saturday afternoon. He received the nod on Monday evening, making his third consecutive Opening Day start.
deGrom said he was a bit off, but certainly looked like himself out there. The two-time Cy Young winner tossed six shutout innings and allowed just three hits while walking two and striking out seven.
After not pitching for 10 days due to the lay-off, deGrom threw just 77 pitches on the night. That’ll certainly be something to keep an eye on in his second outing of the season.
Sunday afternoon, Marcus Stroman will close out the series for the Mets. He also pitched well in his first start of the 2021 season in Philly. Stroman allowed one run on three hits while walking one and striking out three.
Stroman induced a whopping 13 groundouts over his six innings of work. The Long Island native will look to continue his strong start to the season this weekend.
2021 NY Mets Home Opener Prediction
Fresh off the series loss to the Phillies, I think the Mets will return home with a little fire under them. The Marlins are a good young ball club, but I think this Mets offense will prove to be too much for their pitching staff.
Playing in front of their hometown fans for the first time this season, I think the Mets come out flying and make a statement early in the season that they mean business, getting back on the right track and sweeping this series from the fish.
Follow me on Twitter at @jflan816 for more of my content! Don’t forget to join our OT Heroics MLB Facebook group, and feel free to join our new Instagram – @overtimeheroics_MLB, and listen to our baseball podcast, Cheap Seat Chatter! We’ll see ya there!
Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports!
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images