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By Jesse Spector | | 3 mins

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Mets To Reach MLB Postseason A Great Value Bet To Back Now

Mets To Reach MLB Postseason A Great Value Bet To Back Now
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When they lost the first game after the All-Star break, on July 12 in Miami, the New York Mets were 40-51, owners of the seventh-worst record in Major League Baseball, and second-worst in the National League, better than only the Marlins team that had just put an 8-4 beating on them. They were obvious trade deadline sellers and it was reasonable to wonder if manager Mickey Callaway would survive the season.

The Mets won the next day and the day after to take the series from the last-place Marlins, then went to Minnesota and swept a pair from the American League Central-leading Twins. That modest four-game winning streak started a 19-5 stretch that has seen New York become a shock playoff contender, only half a game out of the second wild-card spot entering play on Thursday. And had the Mets not suffered three walk-off losses in San Francisco, their current run would be the stuff of history.

Mets Making a Move

As it is, the Mets have won 13 of their last 14 games, and six in a row to set up what’s suddenly a key series in the playoff race this weekend against the Washington Nationals. Their line to qualify for the playoffs is a mere +225, unfathomable just a month ago.

Critics are quick to point out that the Mets’ surge has come against some of baseball’s dregs: that run of 13 wins in 14 games has come against the Padres, Pirates, White Sox, and Marlins. But then, if you’re going to be a playoff contender, you’re supposed to beat the bad teams, and the Mets haven’t just been squeaking by, they’ve been dominant. In that 14-game stretch, the Mets have stomped on the doormats to the tune of an 81-37 aggregate score.

The way doubts about the Mets should be directed is toward their schedule the rest of the way, as the only remaining soft spots on the docket are three games in Kansas City next weekend and a September road trip to Colorado and Cincinnati that’s followed by a four-game series with the Marlins to open the final homestand. A more optimistic way to look at it for the Mets is that half of their remaining 18 road games are against patsies, and there are 29 games left in Queens, where the Mets are 32-20 this year.

Roster In Place To Succeed

With Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz in their rotation, the Mets at the trade deadline made what seemed a perplexing decision to acquire Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays, while offloading Jason Vargas to Toronto.

Now, New York has an elite rotation, just added Brad Brach to the bullpen, and Pete Alonso keeps hammering away at rookie home run history while building an MVP case.

The pitching makes it a lot easier to talk yourself into the Mets being for real than it does for, say, the Phillies to get their act together. That’s especially true with Edwin Diaz having converted five of six save opportunities in the second half, with 15 strikeouts and five walks in 11 appearances. It’s still the Mets, so there’s always an element of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but if they get through this next six-game stretch against Washington and Atlanta still looking good, they’ll be worth backing, even if the line shortens to something more like +200.

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