By: Michael Ganci

Nine Innings with Matt Yallof

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Matt Yallof works for MLB Network and used to work for SNY covering pre and post-game for the Mets.

Matt and Kelly Nash will co-host MLB Network’s The Rundown weekdays at 2 p.m. ET this season. This will be the fifth season The Rundown is on the air. Today, he plays the roll of Mets critic as he looks at the Amazins’ and their season ahead and gives us his take on today’s edition of #9innings.

For previous editions of #9innings, click here.

Here are his thoughts:

What do you make of this Mets’ team as currently constituted? Are they ready to contend?

I think the Mets are ready to play meaningful games late in the season. In my estimation they have little or no room for mistake offensively. The stars on the team MUST perform like stars if they have any shot at a Wild Card spot.

If they’re missing something, what is that piece? Who would be the guy you’d go out and get and why?

My view is not the popular view. I don’t think they ‘must’ have any one player in particular. Instead, d’Arnaud, Duda, Granderson and Cuddyer need to stay healthy and hit consistently from April-September.

How do the Mets compete with the Nationals with that superstar rotation? Is the NL East title a distant pipe dream?

The Mets’ rotation is very good. But it is not on the same level as the Nats. If the Mets win the East, they need to play way above expectations while both the Nationals and Marlins falter and play beneath expectations. I have the Mets finishing in 3rd place.

David Wright had a career-worst year in 2014. Do you think we should expect a marginalized player moving forward or do you have hope in a resurgence?

t’s realistic to think Wright will rebound from last year. but a 25/100 season is unlikely. Health is key. If he is healthy my best guess would be 20/85. The Mets can’t afford Wright to have long slumps .

Who’s the guy who needs to step up to put the Mets offense over the top?

For me, it’s Travis d’Arnaud. The young catcher must take a big step forward with the bat in order to lengthen the lineup.

What are your thoughts on the Yankees? Do you hate them? 

How can you hate the Yankees? They dump money into the on field product and win more often than any other team. When I was a kid I loved the Mets and was jealous of the Yankees. I understand jealousy, not hatred.

If you could have one team as currently constituted, farm system and all, would you rather have the Mets or the Yankees? Why?

Mets, for sure. They’re built to win for the long term with promising young pitching and very few bad contracts to weigh them down.

What’s the best thing to eat or drink at Citi Field?

Give me a hot dog and a Coke every time. Then ice cream. And peanuts. And popcorn. Old school.

Finish this sentence. By the end of the season, the Mets will be…

…one season away from the playoffs.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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