The New York Mets for much of the 2019 season have been steady purveyors of failure and dysfunction. However, those same Mets resisted calls to sell off at the deadline, and at present they’ve won six in a row and 13 of their last 14. They’re also 19-6 in the second half.
That surge has lifted Mickey Callaway’s club back into contention. They’ll go into the weekend just a half-game out in the chase for the second wild-card spot in the NL. While the SportsLine Projection Model gives the Mets a 22.4 percent chance of making the postseason, FanGraphs is much more bullish, as the outlet gives the Mets a 41.5 percent chance to crack the playoff field.
Whatever the case, the Mets are about to get tested. Over their current 14-game run, they’ve played the Padres, Pirates, White Sox, and Marlins — losing teams, all. That’s not really an indictment, as part of being a successful MLB team is taking care of business against lesser opponents. However, starting Friday the Mets are about to embark upon a 34-game stretch that will test their mettle and possibly determine whether they make the postseason. Here’s how that stretch of schedule will unfold:
That takes us up to Sept. 15 on the schedule. That’s 34 games and of those 34, 27 come against teams that are either in first place (Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers), in wild-card position (Indians, Nationals), or ahead of the Mets in the wild-card race (Phillies). The Diamondbacks, meantime, are above .500 at the moment and have one of the strongest run differentials in the NL. The only real respite, presumably, is that three-game set in Kansas City.
Framed another way, the Mets thus far have an opponents’ average winning percentage of .501 in 2019 — i.e., middle of the pack. Over this 34-game stretch, however, the opponents’ average winning percentage vaults to .539. That’s a bit like playing the Cubs every game. To further put it in context, the Rockies right now have played the toughest schedule of 2019 with an opponents’ average winning percentage of .514. This stretch obviously beats that by a wide margin.
Not surprisingly, the Mets have a tougher remaining schedule than any of their current wild-card competitors, and that’s because of the run detailed above. If the Mets are still treading water 34 games from now, then, yeah, they might just pull off this minor miracle. Getting to that point, however, will be harder than anything they’ve done so far in 2019.