How Mets Can Still Make Postseason

The Mets begin the second half of the season 10 games under .500 and 13.5 games back of the Braves for the division. They are only six games ahead of the Marlins for the worst record in the National League and seven games behind the second Wild Card with nine teams ahead of them. Suffice it to say, things are bleak, and the Mets are going to be in a position to sell rentals like Zack Wheeler, Todd Frazier, and Jason Vargas.

Still, being Mets fans, we have examples in team history where they have overcome long odds like these to reach the postseason. The 1973 Mets entered the All Star Break nine games under .500 and six games out of first place. Even more recently, the 2016 Mets entered the All Star Break six games out of first place. That team would be two games under .500 and 5.5 games out of a postseason spot on August 19th. They would finish the season on a tear and claim the top Wild Card.

Based on history, we can see there is always a chance. The question now is do the 2019 Mets actually have a chance. Looking at everything, you could paint a scenario where they do.

The first thing to look at is the Mets schedule. Right now, the Mets have six games against the Phillies and three against the Nationals. With both teams currently having a Wild Card spot, this gives the Mets a chance to get closer in the Wild Card race by beating their direct competition.

Beyond the head-to-head match-ups, the Mets do have a weak second half schedule. Right off the bat is a 10 game road trip featuring three against the last place Marlins and four against the last place Giants. In fact, the Mets have 18 games remaining against teams who are currently in last place.

Looking further, 36 of the Mets remaining 72 games are against teams with a .500 record or worse. That’s half of their games. So far this year, the Mets have fared well in those games. In their 21 games against second division clubs, they are 13-8 (.619). Now, to make up the deficits, the Mets are going to have to play at a higher clip than that. It’s certainly possible, especially with 11 of those 36 games coming against teams currently 20+ games under .500.

The Mets also have six more games at home than they do on the road. This is an important point because the Mets have actually played over .500 at home with a .548 winning percentage.

That schedule certainly lines up well for the Mets to have a big second half for a second year in a row. Remember, last year, the Mets were eight games over .500 in the second half last year, and as Noah Syndergaard will tell you, the Mets are a second half team.

That is partially the result of how their players perform.  Syndergaard’s career second half ERA is 38 points lower, Jacob deGrom‘s K/BB improves considerably in the second half, and Steven Matz strikes out 1.4 batters more per nine. Michael Conforto‘s second half career OPS is 65 points higher, and Robinson Cano‘s is 55 points higher.

Speaking of Cano, the Mets have had a number of under-performing players who had an opportunity to clear their heads and fix things for the second half. The Mets will be a significantly better team with Cano returning or coming much closer to career averages. The same can be said of Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia.

There is also the chance the Mets finally get that Amed Rosario breakout. The Mets could also potentially get help from a rookie like Anthony Kay. Overall, for the Mets to have any shot, they need players like this to raise their games with the veterans stepping up their performances. With that schedule, maybe, must maybe, the Mets could contend in the second half.

However, this is asking a lot. In addition to everyone stepping up, the Mets need Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith to keep up a very high level of performance. If they want to contend, they will have to hang onto Wheeler, which given their place in the standings is flat out irresponsible.

All things considered it is fun to imagine, but the chances of it all happening are remote. Really, the best we can hope for is Brodie Van Wagenen executing smart deadline deals with Jed Lowrie and Brandon Nimmo healing and being ready to put forth strong 2020 campaigns.

0 Replies to “How Mets Can Still Make Postseason”

  1. Name Luis Venitucci says:

    “Brodie Van Wagenen executing smart deadline deals…..” about as likely as Synergaard throwing 300 innings next year

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s as likely as Wright playing next year.

  2. Fred’s Rugs says:

    Playoffs in 2021?

    They have data on an estimated amount of fan pull, ticket sales on the better players, they have been successful in not getting average attendance down significantly smaller.

    I have gone out of my way to watch one pitcher and in fact avoided Colon and Noah.

    Colon became less agreeable but when I saw Noah and his min 90 pitches thru five I was irritated to avoid watching him even on TV.

    Anyway, I believe Fan’s will lean towards going to see the McNeils and Alonsos.

    Obviously competitive games into the eighth are fun!

    Trade Noah if get a huge return!!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      No one is going to Citi to watch Alonso and McNeil on a 90+ loss team. The sooner the team realizes this the better.

  3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Sad to say, it’s not happening.

    “Remember, last year, the Mets were eight games over .500 in the second half last year,…”

    That won’t be close to enough. If they repeat that extremely unlikely performance again it would make the 2019 Mets 40-32 from here on out, or 80-82 for the season.

    The 1973 Mets only played .588 ball after the ASB. If the 2019 Mets play .588 ball from here on out, that’s 42 wins, 30 losses, leaving them at one game over .500 after 162 games.

    Even to get to just 85 wins (which won’t be enough), these Mets would have to go 45-27 for the rest of the season. That’s .625 ball over almost half a season. Only the Yankees, Astros, Twins, and Dodgers are playing .625 or better. We know the Mets are not the Yankees, Astros, Twins, or Dodgers.

    To get to 88 wins these Mets would have to go 48-24, or .667. That’s not happening, either, and probably won’t make the postseason.

    In 2018 it would have taken 91 wins just to tie for the 2nd wildcard. These Mets would have to go 51-21. Needless to say, that’s not happening, either^2. That’s .708 ball. By these Mets? That’s just not going to happen.

    In addition, as far as the FO is concerned, their point can’t be to pray to get insanely lucky, have the teams ahead of us collapse, and squeeze into the 2nd wildcard just to get bounced after having given up the opportunity to deal Wheeler. One big problem is how many teams have to fall apart for the Mets to get in. Wrt the 1973 team, they squeaked in w a preposterous 82 wins. That won’t happen again–making the post w 82 wins–thus shouldn’t be held up as an example. Not with TEN teams ahead of the 2019 Mets competing for two wild cards, and six teams of which are at least 5 games ahead of them. Iirc the 1973 Mets had all of 2 good teams ahead of them at the 1/2way point. 2 is a far cry from 10. Too far.

    Anyone can and should hope for whatever it is they’d like to see come about–so I suppose my point is that the Mets FO should take the best deals they can for Wheeler, Frazier, et al, and not play chicken w prospective trade partners in the hopes of extracting a team’s #4 prospect for Wheeler instead of a #5 while hoping lightning strikes a batch of times.

    Finally, the simplest way to look at this turns out to be the best way: only one other team of 15 in the NL has a worse record than the New York Mets. That’s it–it’s just the Marlins. Only Jeter is worse than the Mets. The Wilpons should take that and run.

    And trade early, trade often.

    1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

      It is not rational to have this conversation about the giplayoffs

      Putting Conforto 7th ?

      Putting Gsellman in waivers?

      What if the Marlin’s sweep?

      On 11 thousand showed up..
      Maybe 8,000 Sunday Night?

      1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        @Jeff’s –I reluctantly agree, friend. There’s just not enough of a team there, and the FO’s behavior is too bizarre to generate any confidence at all. And they just lost to the Marlins, 8-4. (40-51 on the year.) Gsellman is now a net-negative producer over his 4 years with the Mets, actually sub-replacement level, and he was their 4th best reliever going into 2019. IN 2019 he has a better FIP than any Met reliever with more than 5 innings pitched. Despite that, his seasonal bWAR is -0.3, and his career bWAR is -0.1.

        Nuff said?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *