Hopefully Mets See Defense Will Win 2020 World Series
Who did it better?
— MLB (@MLB) October 19, 2020
Like with the Braves, defense was the calling card of the Tampa Bay Rays in winning the pennant.
The Rays' defense has been on another level this series. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/GXmbR7p1zI
— MLB (@MLB) October 14, 2020
These are two GREAT defensive teams. By DRS, they were both the second best defensive teams in their league. Over the past two years, the Dodgers are the best defensive team in the MLB, and the Rays are the third best defensive team in the AL.
These two teams prove yet again defense matters and defense wins championships, or at the very least, it puts you in a position where you can win.
As previously detailed on this site, there is a correlation between defense and winning in baseball. That continued this year with all of the top eight defensive teams making the postseason. Conversely, only two of the 13 worst defensive teams made the postseason.
This year, the Mets ranked as the fifth worst defense in the majors with a -22 DRS. Since they last made the postseason in 2016, they are an MLB worst -242 DRS. Over that time frame, they’re 18 games under .500.
Defense, or the lack thereof, is the main reason. Year-in and year-out, they pretend like it doesn’t matter, and they make just plain dumb decisions.
Case-in-point is their insistence on playing J.D. Davis. Whether it was left field or third, he’s been the worst defender in all of baseball. Despite that, the Mets shoehorn into the lineup because of his bat.
That decision has ripple effects throughout the team. The main issue is Brandon Nimmo shifts from the corner OF position, where he rates well, to center where he’s not good at all. In essence, by forcing just one bat into the lineup, you’re failing to get the most out of your pitching due to a horrendous defense, and you’re failing to get the most out of Nimmo, who is a very good player.
We don’t see that with teams like the Rays and Dodgers, at least on a daily basis. No, they realize defense matters, and they put their defenders where they should play. The end result is good to great defense, better results from their pitching, and ultimately, winning. These two teams are everything the Mets haven’t been under the direction of the Wilpons.
Fortunately, Steve Cohen has purchased the team from the Wilpons. Already, he’s making plans to beef up the analytics department to bring it up to par with teams like the Dodgers and Rays. We can only hope that means far less of Davis in the field and a whole lot more winning.