MLB: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds

Our 2016 Mets World Series MVP

It’s a long wait until Wednesday. At press time, it’s unknown who the Mets will defeat in the Wild Card game. It’s unknown how many games it’ll take for the Mets to beat the Cubs in the Division Series, and whether the Mets will beat the Dodgers or the Nationals in the NLCS. Though the American League champion could still be one of six(!) teams before the games start on Sunday afternoon, it’s possible the World Series features the same teams as in 1986 or 1969. (It’s nice, however, that the 2000 Mets’ World Series opponents will be spending October at home.) In any event, we’re sure the Mets will be on the road in Game 1 and that no matter how the Fall Classic ends, a Met will certainly be named Most Valuable Player. Here’s who we know it will be. — Scott D. Simon (@scottdsimon)

Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes last reached the postseason as a member of the 2006 New York Mets who lost in the NCLS. Now in his second tenure with the team, he again has the opportunity to help the Mets win the World Series. Reyes is not as popular as in his first stint due to his arrest for domestic violence. Nor is he the same player he used to be (1.7 WARP in 2016 vs. 6.4 WARP in 2011). This year’s version of Reyes has been merely serviceable, with a .325 OBP, but that’s significantly better than the mediocre Eric Campbell and Matt Reynolds.

Come the World Series, Reyes will provide the spark that rallies the team to victory. Whether he’s manufacturing runs himself or scoring on the onslaught of Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes dingers, Reyes will break the World Series runs scored record (10, held by 1993 Paul Molitor and 1977 Reggie Jackson) and deservedly win the MVP award. — Seth Rubin (@sethrubin)

Jay Bruce

When the Mets acquired Jay Bruce from the Reds at the August 1 trade deadline, Terry Collins described the veteran outfielder as a “tremendous run-producing guy” and a “huge bat in the middle of our lineup.” For about seven weeks, that player was nowhere to be found. Collins even pinch-hit Eric Campbell in a critical moment against the Braves back on September 20. Just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for him, the switch flipped in a big way, as Bruce hit .480 (12-for-25) with four homers and a double over the final eight games of the regular season.

Naturally, I don’t feel nearly as confident about the starting pitching going into this year’s playoffs as I did a year ago. If this team makes (and wins) the World Series, they are going to to do it mostly on the backs of their offense. That’s why I’m predicting Bruce will continue to redeem himself during this postseason run and carve out a special place in franchise history. Come on, you know you want to see an avalanche of shame retweets from before this recent surge. – D.J. Short (@djshort)

Jeurys Familia

I wrote a, well, bold thing for our BP-Mets preseason bold predictions. Turns out Familia wasn’t the best reliever in the National League. Although on balance, he was a very good one. He showed flashes of his 2015 dominance but also went through several rough patches where he lost his mechanics. The Mets have a long, perilous road to get back to the World Series in 2016, and they will need Familia to be an anchor in the ninth (and maybe even the eighth) inning. If they are popping champagne in November, it is very likely they had to win a lot of close, low-scoring games to get there, and “Danza Kuduro” will have been on loop at Citi Field for a month (it should be regardless).

Right up until he decided to quick pitch Alex Gordon, Familia had been automatic in the 2015 playoffs. When Familia slams the door in the final game of this year’s World Series, it could easily be the fourth game he’s saved in the Fall Classic. That will be enough to get him the hardware. — Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro)

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon is not the best pitcher on the Mets. His fastball barely cracks 90. No Warthen Slider will ever leap from his fingertips. His 3.43 ERA for the season is his best as a Met, but his 5.17 DRA suggests the specter of regression yet to come. He didn’t even crack the postseason rotation in 2015, but this year he slots in as the number-two starter. And when he takes the stage, facing some of the best hitters the MLB can throw at him, he’s going to dominate.

Colon is almost preternaturally relaxed. To see him warm up, you’d never know if he was throwing in the World Series or a beer-league softball game. It’s all the same to him — every game, every at-bat. Baseball’s biggest stars will admit to the impact of adrenaline during the postseason, a wave many ride successfully for a time before the blood pressure inevitably declines over the course of nine innings. Colon will ride no such wave on his way to World Series MVP, he’ll just get up every game and do his job. His easy motion will allow him to rack up hundreds of pitches on his way to two complete games and, coming after fireballer Noah Syndergaard, his soft-tossing will befuddle hitters. Then the “Bart Bart Bart!” chants will echo in our ears until Spring.  — Maggie Wiggin (@maggie162)

T.J. Rivera

A second baseman known for contact hitting suddenly unlocks his power bat in the playoffs. We’ve seen it before with Daniel Murphy. But maybe there’s something magical about the Mets’ second base position. That’s why I’m taking T.J. Rivera, 2016 World Series MVP! It’s actually not as far-fetched as it sounds. Madison Bumgarner was the first pitcher to win the award since 2003. You don’t see a lot of superstar hitters winning World Series MVP – even Derek Jeter only won the award once. The list of World Series MVPs contains far more journeymen than the NBA and NHL versions. They tend to be above-average hitters who excel at contact, have some power, and get hot at the right time. Think David Freese. Both Freese and Rivera got their first extended big league playing time at age 27. What better symbol of a team that got contributions from a full 40 man roster than to have an undrafted free agent win World Series MVP? — Noah Grand (@noahgrand)

Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson is the archetype player who can go on a run to carry this team. When he’s in a good zone and making consistent contact, that lefty power stroke can be devastating for opposing pitchers, planting dinger after dinger into the right field stands. He’s not a consistent 30-homer threat for nothing, and Mets fans saw just last year how one scalding hot player can take over multiple series. Granderson might not go on quite as ridiculous a run as Daniel Murphy, but he definitely has the potential to do something special. — Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA)

Daniel Murphy

The Mets have a tough playoff road ahead of them as they battle through the Wild Card and then take on the Cubs. Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy and his sore butt have been out of the Nationals’ lineup for over a week, which, because I have the maturity of an 8-year-old, is hysterical. Prediction: Murphy will return for the NLDS as scheduled and the Nationals will take the Dodgers down, but not without wearing out that sore booty, putting the slugger back on the bench for the NLCS and propelling the Kings of Queens forth into the World Series, where no second baseman could possibly drop the ball as much as Murph did last year. — Sara Nović (@novicsara)

Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

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