The New York Mets are technically in the race for the NL Wild Card now, but they are set to come crashing back down to Earth.
The New York Mets finished off a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, and they’ve won 13 of their last 14 games to push to a half-game back of the second NL Wild Card entering a off-day on Thursday. Once on the list of trade deadline sellers, there’s some hope for the team in Queens with a 19-6 record since the All-Star break.
In winning 13 of their last 14 games, the Mets have played the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates (in two series), the Chicago White Sox and the Marlins. Those four teams are a combined 80 games out of first place going into Thursday.
In 10 of their next 11 series, spanning 31 of their next 34 games between now and Sept. 15, the Mets will face a team that has a winning record right now. Friday night is the first of six games against the Washington Nationals, with six against the Atlanta Braves, six against the Philadelphia Phillies, three against the Cleveland Indians, three against the Chicago Cubs, four against the Arizona Diamondbacks and three against the Los Angeles Dodgers also upcoming.
Against the teams they’ll face over the next month-plus, the Mets are a combined 20-28 this season. Take out the 8-5 mark against the Nationals, and the win percentage is .343 (12-23) against the rest.
Even marking them for two or three wins over the Kansas City Royals on the road Aug. 16-18, the Mets would do well to come in around .500 over their next 34 games with all three National League division leaders, one of the best teams in baseball since June 1 who may well be leading their division soon and three teams they’re competing directly with for a playoff spot on the slate. A 17-17 best-case scenario may somehow keep them in the Wild Card race, but a chunk of losses to the Braves, Phillies, Nationals and Diamondbacks among those 17 setbacks would virtually eliminate them.
Mets’ fans are right to have optimism, driven by Pete Alonso and some others. But the recent run to playoff contention came in line with a soft spot on the schedule, and a reversal is coming.