Mets 2019 Season Comes Down To These 10 Games
At 77-72, the New York Mets have been officially eliminated to the National League East race, and they are 4.0 games back of the Cubs for the second Wild Card with 13 games remaining in the season. To that end, they are also three games behind the red hot Milwaukee Brewers who are making a charge for the second Wild Card.
This means the Mets next stretch of games is likely going to be their entire season. They have 10 games to get back into this race to put themselves into position to fight for that last Wild Card spot.
First up is the Colorado Rockies who are playing just terrible baseball right now. They are just 21-40 in the second half. That said, they are three games over .500, and they are just one game under .500 in September after sweeping the Padres. There is also the matter of Daniel Murphy, who has been a Mets killer and has been hot at the plate.
Still, the Rockies are 33-56 against teams over .500. As a result, the Mets can sweep them.
After the Rockies, the Cincinnati Reds are next. The Reds are better than their record indicates with a +10 run differential. Like the Rockies, they are just one game under .500 for the month, and they are five games over .500 at home. Fortunately, the Mets are going to miss Luis Castillo, but they are going to get Trevor Bauer, but that may not be such a bad thing with Bauer having a 6.39 ERA with the Reds.
Again, the Mets might be able to sweep them.
That brings the Marlins into town. These aren’t the Marlins of 2007-2008 with Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, and Cody Ross. No, this is a very bad Marlins team who appears to be the only team in the National League who will lose 100 games this year.
The Mets second half run and impressive march from 10 games under .500 until this point started by taking two out of three from the Marlins in Miami. In August, the Mets really made things interesting by sweeping a four game set against the Marlins in Citi Field in what part of an eight game winning streak.
The Mets need to get part of the way there. Likely, they will need a 10 game winning streak to get them to 87-72 to have a real chance of getting into the postseason.
If the Mets do go 10-0 over this stretch, they will need the Cubs to go 6-4 against the Reds, Cardinals, and Pirates. Given how terrible the Pirates have played of late, that means the Mets need the Cardinals to sweep the Cubs, which is certainly possible but not entirely likely to happen.
The trickier part is the Brewers. Over their next 10 games, they have the Padres, Pirates, and Reds. Even with the Brewers being without Christian Yelich, again, the Pirates laying down is a major impediment to the Mets chances of catching either club. Fortunately, the Mets “only” need the Brewers to go 7-3 over this stretch of games to tie them.
Overall, with the Cubs and Brewers both playing the Pirates, at minimum the Mets need to go 9-1 over this stretch. Realistically speaking, that is probably not enough. They need to sweep the 10 games. If they do that, they will be likely giving themselves an opportunity to have a shot at being the second Wild Card entering the final weekend of the season.
While September series against the Braves are typically horror stories for the Mets, the Braves likely will have nothing to play for at that point and will be more interested in lining up their rotation for the NLDS. If things stand the way they are, the Mets will also be definitively sending Steven Matz to the mound.
Matz has been great in the second half, has a 1.94 ERA at Citi Field, and has limited the Braves to a .189/.255/.400 batting line against him this year. After that, if there is still hope left for the final game of the season, it’s all on Stroman to keep it alive to maybe put the whole season on Noah Syndergaard where you hope the Mets are just not stupid enough to start Wilson Ramos over Tomas Nido or Rene Rivera.
Put another way, right now, the Mets still have a puncher’s chance. Considering where they were coming into the break and their losing two out of three to the Braves, you’ll gladly take that.