If you’re a Mets fan, there’s reason to be proud of the Amazins this week. In a potential playoff preview with the Dodgers, baseball’s best team, New York secured two victories in three tries. Better yet, this helped them win the season series against Los Angeles by taking four of seven.
Citi Field was rocking like it was October, so one can hope New York will carry that momentum forward. Entering a series against the Nationals, the Mets are currently 84-48 and have maintained a three-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.
Atlanta has taken home the divisional crown each season since 2018, not to mention winning a World Series title last year, as well. It’ll be a fight to the finish between these two, who have just three more games against one another before the regular season wraps up.
Speaking of the remaining road to Game 162, it actually looks quite rosy for manager Buck Showalter’s club. Check out the below tweet from The Athletic‘s Will Sammon:
The Mets’ remaining schedule, according to Tankathon, is the easiest in baseball (.422 winning percentage), and it’s not particularly close with the Cardinals’ weak list of opponents (.448) next on the list.
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) September 2, 2022
If you’re wondering where the Braves fall on this particular list, their schedule isn’t much harder. The collective winning percentage of their remaining opponents is .475. Including three games with the Mets, Atlanta will also face the Mariners for three games and the Phillies for seven. New York, on the other hand, has just six games remaining against winning teams (three with Atlanta and three against the Brewers).
The Mets have a clear advantage here, and it starts Friday in Queens. Following three games against Washington, they aren’t scheduled to see another playoff contender for two weeks. Here’s what the rest of their September/October looks like:
- 9/5-9/7: @ Pirates
- 9/9-9/11: @ Marlins
- 9/12-9/14: vs. Cubs
- 9/15-9/18: vs. Pirates
- 9/19/-9/21: @ Brewers
- 9/23-9/25: @ Athletics
- 9/27-9/28: vs. Marlins
- 9/30-10/2: @ Braves
- 10/3-10/5: vs. Nationals
What makes a playoff and World Series contender? Teams that can minimize cold streaks and maximize hot streaks while getting healthy on non-contenders when given the opportunity. This is what has made New York so successful thus far in 2022.
The Mets have played 69 of their games against teams with a winning record this year. They’ve more than held their own by going 39-30. When the situation flips to facing a team with a losing record, New York is currently 45-18. Instead of playing down to their competition, the Mets have risen to the occasion by taking advantage.
What I find interesting about New York’s remaining schedule are the seven games against the Pirates. Remember how the 2021 squad had seven games against Pittsburgh that were sandwiched around the All-Star break? The Buccos were going nowhere and the Mets were in first place, so this looked like the ultimate “get healthy” opportunity to extend their NL East lead.
Of course, we all know what actually happened. The Pirates won four of seven, including three in a row (the first-half finale and the first two games of the second half). Getting all these matchups against Pittsburgh within a two-week span again feels like an opportunity to avenge last season’s shortcomings.
The Mets’ destiny is firmly in their own hands, and the Baseball Gods have blessed them with the league’s easiest schedule down the stretch. It’s time for Showalter’s club to seize the opportunity, which is something they’ve done for the majority of this season.
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