Tuesday, October 19 2021
Javier Baez Francisco Lindor postgame handshake line September 2021

Javier Baez Francisco Lindor postgame handshake line September 2021

With 23 games remaining in the regular season, the Mets are facing an uphill battle as they try to reach the playoffs.

They have a shot, but it’s going to take a lot of winning and some help from the teams ahead of them.

How solid are the Mets’ chances?

Per Baseball Prospectus’ playoff odds, the 70-69 Mets currently have a 16.2 percent chance to reach the postseason.

The Mets’ odds are miles better than those of the St. Louis Cardinals — whose record is nearly identical to the Mets but whose odds (0.8 percent) are minuscule — but worse than the odds of the San Diego Padres (52.0 percent), Philadelphia Phillies (40.6 percent), and Cincinnati Reds (33.5 percent).

Entering play on Wednesday, the Mets have two viable paths.

One is to overtake the Phillies and Atlanta Braves and win the NL East, with the Mets currently 4.0 games out (5.0 in the loss column).

The other path is the second Wild Card, with the Mets 3.5 games behind both the Padres and Reds, who are tied for that spot.

The NL East is still a legitimate option, especially if the Mets keep stringing wins together in bunches. And the Mets will be able to control their own destiny if they arrive to Atlanta for the final series of the regular season (a three-game set from Oct. 1 to 3) within 3.0 games of the Braves (assuming the Phillies don’t vault into first).

But as the Padres and Reds have faltered, that second Wild Card spot is looking more and more in play.

Sep 7, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park.Sep 7, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park.

Sep 7, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park.

Between the Mets and the top teams for the second Wild Card, New York has only the Phillies to leapfrog. And they’re just 1.5 games behind them with three head-to-head matchups still to come at Citi Field later this month.

But can the Mets catch the Reds and Padres?

In order to have a solid shot at the playoffs — whether it’s via the NL East or the Wild Card — the Mets probably have to win 85 games or more. To do so, they’ll have to go at least 15-8 the rest of the way.

At that point, it would likely come down to how the Reds and Padres perform. And with the Padres especially, winning games down the stretch might be easier said than done.

Let’s look at the Reds’ schedule first…

To close out the season, Cincinnati will get a gift of sorts with 13 of their final 21 games against the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates and decimated Washington Nationals. But the Reds will also play eight games against the Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox.

If Cincinnati doesn’t clean up against the Pirates and Nats, it could get dicey for them.

For the Padres, it’s a different story.

Their remaining schedule seems like a misprint, but it isn’t. Starting Friday, San Diego’s final 22 games are against the Dodgers (six games, all in Los Angeles), Giants (10 games, with seven in San Francisco), Cardinals (three games in St. Louis), and Braves (three games at home).

Again, the Mets climbing all the way out of the hole they dug for themselves and reaching the postseason for the first time since 2016 will not be easy, especially with road series coming up against the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox.

But if the Mets can reach that 85-win mark or surpass it, things could get very interesting — especially as it relates to the Wild Card.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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