New York Mets owner Steve Cohen learned a harsh lesson last year.

After winning 101 games in 2022, the Mets added Justin Verlander and David Robertson to a team that performed above expectations the previous year.

Things took a turn for the worse before the year even began when closer Edwin Diaz went down with a season-ending injury while celebrating a win in the World Baseball Classic.

Things didn’t get any better. Injuries to Verlander and Max Scherzer kept them out, and the offense got off to a slow start. It led to the Mets trading both of their aces along with Eduardo Escobar, Tommy Pham, and Mark Canha. Seeing a new crop of offensive players like catcher Francisco Alvarez was nice, but the team did little to address its pitching depth this offseason.

After being one of the preseason favorites a year ago, New York is now at +5000 at NY sportsbook FanDuel to win the World Series. While there’s good karma associated with that number — Texas was +5000 before last year and cashed in on it in October — we’re going to take a look at some more reasonable best bets based on the New York Mets odds in 2024.

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New York Mets Odds to Make the Playoffs

For the National League East, the Mets are projected to finish in third place. However, the Atlanta Braves are overwhelming favorites. The five-time consecutive division champs are anywhere from -240 (DraftKings) to -350 at NY sportsbooks to win the NL East. Catching the Braves, who are second in World Series futures odds behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, is a tall task for the Mets.

A better bet to discuss is whether New York can return to the postseason in 2024. At DraftKings, the odds are against them — +160 to make, -195 to miss.

As usual, health will play a big part of the Mets season. Ace Kodai Senga, who dazzled last year with a sub-3.00 ERA and 200-strikeout rookie season, is likely to make his debut sometime in May after dealing with arm fatigue early in spring training. In good news, Edwin Diaz said he’s 100% recovered from his surgery to repair a torn patella. That’s good news for Mets fans, who are hoping to hear the trumpets at Citi Field once again.

Senga will need to reprise his 2023 form once he returns. The rotation behind him isn’t deep. It includes Jose Quintana, who had a nice season last year once he debuted in July. New acquisitions Adrian Houser and Alex Manoah follow.

Pitching will be important because the Mets will see plenty of Atlanta and Philadelphia, who could be two of the three top offensive teams in the league.

What helps the Mets is the fact that there are three wild card teams now. Figure the Braves or the Phillies get one, but the other two are wide open. Are the Mets really that much worse than teams like Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, or Cincinnati? Those are the teams they’ll be competing with for two wild card sports. It’s almost a 50-50 shot, so if you can get the “yes” end of the bet at +160, that’s good value.

Will the Mets Surpass Their Over-Under Win Total?

In 2022, the Mets won 101 games. Last year, the final tally was 75 wins. It doesn’t take much of an expert to say that 2024 will probably fall somewhere in the middle.

The NY sportsbooks agree. Caesars has the over-under win total at 81.5.

Offensively, the Mets can be a top-five batting team like they were in 2022. There shouldn’t be much to worry about with Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor. Jeff McNeil rallied from a slow start last year, and Pete Alonso has to bring his batting numbers up. Alvarez is already a proven power-hitting catcher.

The questions revolve around Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, and Starling Marte. If those three can produce, the Mets will have formidable offense. Harrison Bader was also a solid pickup for the outfield.

After the Mets essentially threw in the towel at the trade deadline last year, finishing with 75 wins actually wasn’t that bad. Should the team improve by six games? Two of the three top projection sites say yes: PECOTA is at 84 wins, while Baseball Prospectus drills deeper and gives a total of 83.4. FanGraphs is less bullish, settling at 80-82.

The Mets feel like a .500 team, and since we’re close to the number, it’s more fun to root for wins, so we’ll take over 81.5.

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