The Mets are playing some of the best baseball the franchise has EVER played. They are jumping out to leads and coming from behind and everything in between. Long story short, right now, the Mets are winning ballgames.
Win seven, lose one, win eight, lose one. What’s next… win nine?
Sadly, no. The Mets will eventually have to cool down. They have won 15 out of 17 now, but they took advantage of a forgiving portion of their schedule. Before the Nationals series this past weekend, they played 20 consecutive games against teams currently under .500.
However, the friendly schedule is ready to give way to a tough slate. Before going into what comes next, let’s take a closer look at how the Metropolitans have performed against each “genre” of competition. There are two widely used divisors when breaking down the difficulty of an upcoming series. First, is it a home or a road game? Second, is the team they are playing above or below .500?
These two questions create four different possibilities for a team’s upcoming series. Here’s a breakdown of the Mets performance against each group so far this season:
- Below .500 team at home: 19-6
- Below .500 team on the road: 12-10
- At or above .500 team at home: 15-15
- At or above .500 team on the road: 15-26
It is easy to see that the Mets have gotten progressively worse as the game situation has become increasingly difficult. The Mets are well under .500 when excluding the first genre of competition. Unfortunately for the Mets, they have almost completely exhausted their wealth of games at home against bad teams.
Here is the same breakdown of games for the Mets’ remaining opponents:
- Below .500 team at home: 4
- Below .500 team on the road: 9
- At or above .500 team at home: 22
- At or above .500 team on the road: 9
That is not an appetizing remaining slate for the Mets and their fans. Another thing to note is that the four remaining games at home vs. a bad team come in a series against the Marlins in the final week of the season. The Mets will have to stay afloat until then with little to no reprieve.
If the Mets were to have the same winning percentage in all four genres for the final month and a half as they had up to this point, then here would be their record in each category:
- Below .500 team at home (.760 so far this season): 3-1
- Below .500 team on the road (.545 so far this season): 5-4
- At or above .500 team at home (.500 so far this season): 11-11
- At or above .500 team on the road (.366 so far this season): 3-6
This would lead New York to an even 22-22 in their final 44 games to finish at 83-79. For reference, in the two-Wild Card Era, only two out of 14 teams (the 2015 Astros at 86-76 and the 2017 Twins at 85-77) have won a Wild Card with fewer than 87 wins. Especially considering the bunched up NL Wild Card race, this does not bode well for the Mets. Somebody will pull away from the pack, but the Mets’ schedule will work against their attempt in being that team.
All of this may seem like a complete buzzkill to the amazing run the Amazin’ Mets are on. That is not the case. This is merely a warning to acknowledge the difficulties this enigmatic team is getting ready to face.
The New York Mets are a one of a kind franchise; they don’t win often, but when they do, they do it in storybook ways. If the Mets continue this out-of-nowhere excellent baseball and carry the momentum through the rest of the regular season into a playoff birth then that would be pretty Hollywood in and of itself.
This team has a starting staff up there with any team in the sport and their lineup sports potentially the NL Rookie of the Year and the NL batting champion. Watching deGrom, Thor, Wheeler, Matz, and Stroman toe the rubber each and every night is a treat. Arriving at your seat just in time to witness McNeil jump on every first pitch is exhilarating. Taking in every moon shot and laser beam from Alonzo, Conforto, and J.D. Davis is breathtaking.
The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t expect too much from the 2019 New York Mets. This team is nothing if not unpredictable. Anything can happen at any point in any inning in any game. That means both the good and the bad. It is must-see television. The Mets are in a pennant race down the stretch run. Enjoy that.
Featured Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images