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One of the most aggressive teams this off-season has been the New York Mets. They went out and landed a new first baseman, a new catcher, a flame-throwing lefty closer, and a 47-year-old back-up first baseman. But will it be enough to unseat the Atlanta Braves and win the NL East?
I hate to speak out against the Braves. For the last three years, I’ve been predicting the end of the Braves’ run and every year the Philadelphia Phillies or Florida Marlins, the two teams I’ve recently picked to win the division, have fallen short. But for all of the Braves’ past success, I wonder if maybe the Mets could win the first NL East division crown not awarded to the Atlanta Braves.
In 2005, the Braves won the NL with 90 wins, hardly an imposing number. And they edged the Phillies by just two games. Their margin for error is slim. So how many games would the Mets need to win? Well, since the advent of the three-division system and the first crowing of a division winner in 1995, the Braves have won the division with an average total of 97 wins. To me, that total seems slightly on the high side. Considering the more division-centric schedules baseball currently employs, I would expect that the Mets would have to win around 95 games to secure the division crown.
To see whether or not they would get to 95 wins, I want to take a look at the 2005 win share totals of the 2006 Mets to see, hypothetically, how the 2006 Mets would have fared in 2005.