Mike Freire - Wild Card Chase (Updated)


Good Afternoon, Mets' fans!

I am putting this article together during the late afternoon on Thursday (09/12/19), on the heels of the Mets fourth straight victory over the previously "red hot" Arizona Diamondbacks.  

On that topic, how the heck does this team sweep teams like the Indians and Diamondbacks, while getting swept by the Braves and the Cubs?  Really makes you shake your head sometimes.

With that said, the Mets have somehow vaulted their way back into the Wild Card chase (the second position, anyway) with only sixteen games left to play.  The team seems to be playing some kind of crazy "Hokey Pokey" with all of us.......you're in, you're out, etc.

Let's take a quick look at the National League Wild Card Standings;

1.  Washington     81-64   (+3.5)
2.  Milwaukee       78-68     ---
3.  Chicago           78-68     ---

4.  New York       76-70     2.0
5.  Philadelphia   76-70     2.0
6.  Arizona           75-72     3.5

I think it is safe to say that the Nationals are in a fairly commanding position for the top spot in the listed playoff chase.  In other words, the team that emerges from the rest of the scrum will be traveling to Washington DC for the one game playoff (barring an epic collapse by the Nationals).  

So, it makes sense to focus on the remaining five teams that are all chasing the second position.

The Brewers got HOT just as the Cubs began to falter, so we now have two teams in the "cat bird" seat.  Milwaukee has been playing good baseball, but they just lost their best player for the year, Yelich, so who knows how that will affect their chances?  

Hell, just a week ago, the Diamondbacks were the hottest team in this chase and now they are in danger of dropping out of the race!  It has been a topsy-turvy race of late and it has definitely NOT been boring. The remaining five teams in contention for the last playoff spot are separated by four games in the loss column so things are a long way from being decided.

As of this article, the Brewers and the Cubs are on pace to win 87 games, so that should be the target for everyone else with aspirations on a playoff spot.  

This is a Mets' oriented blog, so I am going to focus on their chances for the rest of the article.

The Mets have 16 games left to play this season, so in order to win 87 games they need to finish the year on a 12-4 streak which is a .750 winning percentage!  Granted, they play 10 of their remaining 16 games at home and the 6 games on the road are against teams that are not playing well this season (Colorado, Cincinnati).  

But, they also have 6 games against the best team in the National League (Los Angeles) and the second best team in the National League (Atlanta). If you look deeper, they have a 21-21 record for the season against the remaining opponents on their schedule, so that might be problematic when all is said and done.

No guarantees, but what would a 12-4 finish look like?

3 - Los Angeles (2-1)

3 @ Colorado (2-1)

3 @ Cincinnati (2-1)

4 - Miami (4-0)

3 - Atlanta (2-1)

In other words, they have to win ALL of their remaining series and they also have to sweep all four games against the Marlins to reach the 87 win "plateau".  Yes, it can be done in other ways, but if they falter anywhere along the line, they are going to need to sweep another opponent along the way.

Is this realistic?  Probably not, but it isn't impossible, either. Makes you wish the team had taken advantage of a few more "wins" that they left on the field, doesn't it?

The sad part is that the Mets have played the Nationals REALLY well this year, so if they can somehow sneak into the Wild Card matchup they could make some noise (at least until they take on the Dodgers in the NLDS in that scenario).

At least we have "meaningful" games late into September and as a fan, I am not going to throw in the towel until they are officially eliminated.

Do you still have faith in their chances or have you turned your attention to the off season?


Anonymous said...

Don't need faith to recognize they have a chance at this. It's a true fact. Two games out today, could be one game tomorrow. Or three! We're right in it.

I am enjoying this, one game at a time.

Starters are going to have to keep up the high-quality performances. Good to see Stroman join the party.

My preseason pick was 86 wins, falling short of WC2.

I don't believe in doing this kind of math, as described in the article. For now, my hope is 2-1 against LA. Get through the weekend. See where we are at after that.

This is fun.

In the AL, four teams are on pace to lose 100 games. Three more AL teams also terrible, and not trying, but at least they get to play against four other teams that are not trying . . . even harder. So many fans thrilled to be tanking, obsessed with prospects, the owners getting rich without even trying, and all those fabulous draft picks with the WS rings to come.

Hey, it worked for the Knicks!

Oh, wait.


Tom Brennan said...

12-4 may not be necessary - Cubs have a bunch of Cards games coming up, and Yelich is out for Milwaukee, a blow that has to impact their win-loss record.

10-6 does not feel like enough - I am guessing 11-5 may do it.

They just have to win like heck. Including this weekend.

Mike Freire said...

The configuration of the wins needed to get into the playoffs don't have to follow what I listed in the article.......but, they still need 11 or 12 more wins to get there, IMO. My list was just a guideline on one possible way to get there and just how tricky it will be if they don't win every remaining series.

I can't see the Cubs, Brewers and Phillies ALL tanking down the stretch (right?)

Mack Ade said...

Looks like no help by the Cubbies today.

Mack's Mets © 2012