New York Mets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets wake up Monday in California — and in third place. Do they have any chance of making the playoffs?

Tab Bamford

After sweeping the Nationals last week, the New York Mets climbed back to only .5 games out of first place in the National League East. Unfortunately, the Nationals are terrible and the three games that followed against the Los Angeles Dodgers showed the Mets’ flaws — all of them.

A three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers has the Mets now 2.5 games back of the streaking Atlanta Braves, who sprinted past the Philadelphia Phillies into first this weekend.

The Mets are 6.5 games out of the wild card in the National League and are looking up at the Dodgers, Padres, Reds, Cardinals and Phillies. That hill is too much to climb; the Dodgers and Padres are better teams and the National League Central is only going to help the Reds and Cardinals down the stretch (because the Cubs and Pirates are awful). So the Mets need to win their division to get in.

So do they have a chance? Let’s make a case for and against them getting in. Let us know if you think they have a shot.

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The Case For (+230)

When looking for a silver lining on the cloudy past month for the Mets, it’s hard to make a case for them to win the division. They’re in California for seven games against the first-place Giants (three) and then at the Dodgers (four) before coming home for three more against the Giants next week.

The Mets started this huge 13-game run with an 0-3 series against the Dodgers. No bueno.

But there’s a chance for the Mets… maybe.

At some point they’re going to have both Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez in their infield. Putting those two bats in the lineup together (finally) changes the entire dynamic of the offense. And those two in the middle of the infield makes the Mets a better defensive team.

After these 13 games the Mets have a chance to put together a win streak and make things interesting. They finish August with three at home against the Nationals before ending the month/beginning September with four games against the Marlins at Citi Field and then a five-games-in-four-days series with the Nats in Washington. They then get three more in Miami.

And the Mets finish the season with three against the Marlins at home.

If the Mets can win the overwhelming majority of the 15 games they have left against Washington and Miami, and can win at least two of the three they have left against the Phillies, they have a fighter’s chance.

jacob degrom mets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Case Against (-285)

Where do we begin? Here are the reasons the Mets won’t make the playoffs:

  1. No Jacob deGrom
  2. The rest of the pitching staff
  3. The Braves are a better team
  4. The Phillies are a better team
  5. The Mets’ schedule is tough

At some point the Mets need to get on a hot streak — and they need both the Braves and Phillies to cool off.

Not having deGrom for an extended period has crushed them on the mound, and his return is still a huge question mark for the remainder of the regular season.

The Mets pitching staff will need to perform much better than it has for the bats to have a chance to win games down the stretch. Bringing back Lindor and Baez will help, but it might be a case of too little, too late for the Mets.

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