The standings on May 30 showed the Mets with a 10-game lead. Four weeks later it is down to five games. The Mets won 13 of 23, which is a .565 clip, but that is 100 points lower than April-May. The Braves managed to close the gap by winning 19 of 24, making up five and a half games.  The schedule favors the Braves up to the All-Star Break, so it will be tight at that point.

The Mets have played really well against the in-division opponents, so they should be able to be in the race all year. Of course, the Mets are also maintaining pace without Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom, if both or either return to form, the Mets will pick up a few more games.

The biggest issue the Mets are having on offense is poor production from the Designated Hitter slot. Even before the DH was decided on for the National League, there was a big concern over J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith having roster spots, given their inability to play defense.  The upside of the DH has been neither has been in the field, so the Mets defensive performance has been better.

The trade deadline has been extended to August 2 this season. The Mets would be wise to move early. Top candidates include Josh Bell on the Nationals. He’s a free agent after 2022, meaning minimal commitment from the Mets, but first negotiation rights.  Bell has a 150 OPS+ and is a switch-hitter. Another option could be anyone on the Colorado Rockies, specifically C.J. Cron.  Cron has a 133 OPS+ and just one more year on his contract. An interesting option would be the Arizona first baseman Christian Walker. Walker is a Gold Glove fielder, still arbitration eligible, and can hit.  All these players are already 30 years old or more, so they are short-term solutions, but are likely to provide more punch the rest of the season than Smith or Davis, and all three can play more defense.

How is the Mets defense? As a team, and the mid-season numbers begin to take shape, the Mets are in the middle of the pack and performing about average. Their current numbers are slightly below last season, with the absence of Javy Baez and Francisco Lindor hasn’t had quite the same performance. Around the diamond, the team is largely performing as could be expected.  Pete Alonso is serviceable, Luis Guillorme is decent, Lindor is a good fielder, and Eduardo Escobar is performing well. Th addition of Mark Canha and Starling Marte has stabilized the corner outfield positions and both are solid fielders.  These two additions have cemented Brandon Nimmo in centerfield, and Nimmo is playing slightly above average.  Behind the dish, Tomas Nido and James McCann are holding their own. None of the Mets are looking to win a Gold Glove anytime soon, but they are not shooting themselves in the foot as they have so often in the past.  All defensive performances to date are still looking at small sample sizes and must be viewed as such.

Overall, the simulations still like the Mets. Baseball Reference still has the Mets playoff chances increasing by 10% over this last month, because they are still winning games. With the new system, the Mets have established themselves as a good team, and project over 90 wins. The Mets have been dominant and have a great chance to improve on the performance so far.

4 comments on “Can the Mets get there from here?

  • BoomBoom

    Luis Guillorme is just decent?

  • ChrisF

    There are 25 games in June. 13-12 still puts the team on a 100-win pace. They already are at 13 wins. A split with houston would be great, a “sweep” (of 2) would be better! The Mets are definitely digging the home cooking this year.

    The Braves barely played anyone besides bottom dwellers. Meanwhile the Mets have faced SD (x3), LA (x4), and HOU (x4), and MIL (x3), with 9 games on the road and only the 3 set woth MIL and the 2 set with HOU at home. Its the hardest month on the entire calendar without doubt.

    Add that Max and deGrom are returning, and I like where the Mets are. Bully for the Braves. The defending champs were not likely to roll over and die in May. They certainly have earned some swagger, but the Mets are a strong team, and the best pitching the team can offer is coming as a pick up of 2 CY winners before the trade deadline.

    Bet on this team.

  • Metsense

    The Mets will do it and get there from here. Like you said, Scherzer and deGrom will
    pitch in the second half of the season. That alone will make the team better. A healthy May will also solidify the relief core. Holderman and Hunter have not pitched enough to evaluate them. They should trade for another impact relief pitcher.
    Smith has been disappointing but in the last 7 games he has a 760 OPS. Maybe he is coming around. Davis is in a funk for the last month, but he is only slightly below average with a 97 OPS+. That said, they could use another bat.
    The Mets could use another bat and an impact reliever but they shouldn’t trade one of their top prospects for a rental. They aren’t desperate and should used their position in the standings to have patience and not be swayed by the media.
    Fangraphs projects the Mets winning the division by 3 games and 96 wins. I’ll take the over.

  • Mike W

    As we truck towards the all star break and trade deadline, it will be interesting g to see what moves the Mets will make. Yesterday, I was looking at rosters to see who needed a first baseman. I came up with Seattle. I thought a good deal would be Dom Smith for Andres Munoz. Well, ha ha, today the Mariners acquired Carlos Santana from the Royals.

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