This past Saturday, the Mets won the National League East for the first time in nine years. And while making the playoffs is always an accomplishment, it means even more in a year when no one expected them to.
Well, almost no one.
At the start of the season, the Washington Nationals were the favorites to win the division. Hell, lots of professional prognosticators predicted they would win the 2015 World Series. And the Mets? They were lucky to be considered an afterthought.
When Sports Illustrated made their predictions, the Mets weren’t mentioned as contenders at all— every one of their writers has the Nationals winning the division.
Over at ESPN, the Nationals were also heavy favorites, with only Pedro Gomez being bold enough to say the Mets would win the second Wild Card berth.
An article published at MLB.com said:
“Our experts concur that the Nats are a heavy favorite to win their division a second straight year, with the Marlins a distant second.”
Over at Grantland, six writers made six different predictions, and not one included the Mets even making the playoffs. A full third of their experts had the Marlins winning the wild-card, NL pennant, and the World Series. Though it should be noted that though Mallory Rubin didn’t include them in his picks, he did list them as his “Surprise Team.”
The Guardian went in-depth on the Mets’ struggles, and while writer David Lengel said that the Mets could actually do some damage this year, he still predicted the Nationals would take the division, “no problem.”
But one man had true vision. Sportswriter Bill Madden of the New York Daily News—way back on April 4—foresaw a world where the Mets would win the division, thanks mainly to the team’s starting pitching, bullpen, and above all else, their depth.
If I was Bill Madden, I would be yelling, “I told ya so” at the top of my lungs every chance I got.
It’s been an amazin’ season so far, and hopefully us diehard fans will get to celebrate three more times before all is said and done.