Much has been written and discussed about how the Mets fall apart in June putting themselves in a hole that they need to claw out of to be competitive.  When looking back on the last eight years – not including the Covid-shortened 2020 season – there have certainly been some months of June that stand out as particularly bad, such as 2018’s 5-21 record, 2019’s 10-18 record and last year’s abomination where they struggled to a 7-19 mark.  Over the last eight years the Mets have posted one winning record in the month of June, had two months where they reached .500 and five losing months.  Oddly, in the three years where they had a winning record for the season, they still had a losing record in June.  This included their 2015 season when they lost to the Royals in the series and 2016 when they lost to the Giants in the playoffs.   Their only winning month of June was in 2022 where they rode a 13-12 record to a 101-win season and a brief playoff appearance.  Clearly, there is something about June that does not work in their favor.  

This led to the question of whether June was really the month that did the Mets in, or could you blame other months for their downfall?  The following chart notes the Mets month by month record for the eight years reviewed and a look at 2024 thus far. 

Year Season Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct
2015 90-72   15-8 13-15 12-15 13-12 20-8 16-11 1-3
2016 87-75   15-7 14-15 12-15 13-13 15-14 17-10 1-1
2017 70-92   10-14 13-14 14-14 11-13 10-20 12-16 0-1
2018 77-85 2-0 15-9 10-18 5-21 12-12 15-15 18-10  
2019 86-76 2-1 13-13 13-15 10-18 14-8 17-11 17-10  
2021 77-85   10-11 17-9 15-15 14-13 9-19 11-16 1-2
2022 100-61   15-7 19-10 13-12 17-8 19-11 15-11 3-2
2023 75-87 1-1 14-11 14-15 7-19 14-9 11-18 14-13 0-1
2024 28-36 0-3 15-11 9-19 10-4        
  W-L 5-5 122-91 122-130 98-133 108-88 116-116 120-97 6-10
  % 0.500 0.572 0.484 0.424 0.551 0.500 0.553 0.375

While June jumps out with a .424 winning percentage (helped by their play this month) that included two really awful months, they have also been mediocre in the month of May, where their .484 winning percentage included just two winning seasons out of eight.  It does seem that they generally get off to a good start as noted by their .572 winning percentage in the month of April, that has included six out of eight winning records, featuring 15 wins in each of the three years where they made it to the playoffs.  Even in 2024, despite dropping all three March games, the Mets had a 15-11 month in April before falling into a 9-19 hole in May that included several games where they held a lead in the late innings but couldn’t hold on to bring home a W.  

The chart also reveals that for the most part they play well in the months of July, August and September with winning percentages of .551, .500 and .553 respectively.  Their record in August would be much improved over .500 if not for two seasons where their 10-20 and 9-19 records skewed the results.  

So, what can be learned from this analysis?  It appears that the success of the Mets season hinges on how they play in the months of May and June.  To state the obvious, they must figure out why their strong start out of the gate in April turns into struggles in the two months that follow. 

Could their downfall be all of the games in a row without a break?  Maybe, but all teams face the same stretch of games in their schedules.

Could it be that they usually have some sort of bad injury or two during those months, like Kodai Senga who has yet to appear this year and Francisco Alvarez missing many games? Perhaps, but many other teams have injuries as well – just ask the slumping Atlanta Braves who are struggling with Ronald Acuna, Jr. on the shelf. 

Could it be the handling of their pitching staff? Certainly, but the many pitching changes are caused by starters not going deep enough into games and then having to take a Russian roulette approach to which reliever had enough rest to bring into the game.  

Could it be that they are just not a good team? Well, that’s always on the table, but they are not alone in their misery as prior to Monday’s game against the Texas Rangers, only five of 15 National League teams, and just seven of 15 American League teams had winning records. 

We are all living through what might hopefully turn out to be an historic June. As of play through Monday, June 17, the Mets record for the month sits at 10-4. That includes series sweeps over the Nationals and Padres, a series win over the Marlins, a split of a two-game London series against the Phillies, and beat down last night on the Texas Rangers, where they pounded out 22 hits. They are riding a six-game winning streak for the second time this season. There are 10 games left in the month of June, and the only games against a team with a winning record will be when they host the crosstown Yankees for a two-game set. 

The remaining schedule seems to hint that there is a good chance to pull off a rare winning month of June, although maintaining their current .714 clip is likely not sustainable. If they were to split the last 10 games they would finish the month at 15-9, their best June since 2012 when they finished 15-10. As of this writing they have climbed back to three games under .500 and sit just 1.0 game behind the last Wild Card spot, two games behind the second spot, and just 5.5 games behind the first spot.  Of the seven teams in front of them for Wild Card consideration, only the Braves, who currently hold the #1 Wild Card spot, and the St. Louis Cardinals at #2, have winning records.   

After finishing off a sweep of the Padres, and their explosion against the Rangers, the offense has started to jell, and they are getting contributions from across the lineup.  Instead of calls for Carlos Mendoza’s firing, he is now considered a genius for his manipulation of the lineup and his Captain Hook approach to changing pitchers.   

If the Mets can win seven of the next 10 games, they will finish the month with an historic 17-7 record and sit at .500 for the season.  If they can win eight of the next 10, they would be a game over .500 for the first time in seven weeks. Given the parity that has taken over the National League, with so many losing records and only two teams, the Marlins and Rockies so far down the rabbit hole to make run at anything, do the Mets alter their approach to the trade deadline?

The above prediction for June 2024 is very optimistic but not out of the question.  If they sit at or above .500 at the start of July, where eight years of history shows them with a .551 winning percentage, do they become buyers at the deadline and not the obvious sellers that many of us have been calling on them to become?  If they are in the Wild Card hunt, would management tear down this team as many of us have called for or should they try and go for it, understanding that with all the expiring contracts they will still be able to revamp the team in the offseason?

With pure optimism and fingers and toes crossed that the Mets are at or over .500 at the end of June, can they find a closer from another team to solidify the 8th inning?  Is there an aging but functional infielder out there who can take over at second base so that Jeff McNeil can become the bench player he seems to be striving to be?  And what do they do about the polar bear in the room, where it appears more likely that they won’t give him the dollars and years he and Scott Boras are looking for in a new contract? And if they don’t move him and he walks, they only receive a fourth-round pick as a penalty for their payroll.  

In the meantime, it’s great to witness the Mets having a rare good month of June. Let’s hope it continues.    

7 comments on “The Mets are avoiding their typical ‘June Swoon’

  • Metsense

    The Mets should win six games more in June based on their schedule and their opponents. By the All-Star break they should be at .500. There are 8 teams, separated by 3 games, that are in the playoff hunt. Two of them will make the playoffs. This winning streak has us, the fans, hopeful. There are approximately 30 games to see if they are sellers, buyers or stay the course.

  • Brian Joura

    I really liked the chart showing the club’s record by month. I would have expected the Mets to have had a worse record in June and a better one in May than they did in reality. And I was a bit surprised to see that the records from July on were as strong as they were.

    It would be a good offseason piece to go thru these seasons on an individual basis and see why they fell short in May and June. And maybe after looking at it on a year-by-year view a trend or two will emerge.

  • T.J.

    SS – you had to bring up the June swoon? Oye.

  • AgingBull

    I thought the same thing and had to Grimace.

  • ChrisF

    One question about the forward status for this season is this reality. Back at the start of this run the team was something like 3.5 back in the “WC race” (in June I hardly call it a race and more about marketing than baseball, its like saying I was close to the front pack in a marathon at mile 6 – who cares?). After this terrific, and mind you unsustainable run, they have cut it to 0.5 games. Of course this has been as fun watching the Mets as you can get, but realistically when they go back to playing more likely numbers, say a little north of .500, the most expected course of events is that they will recede in the WC standings. Now it is entirely possible that the other teams play even worse given the generally aweful state of the NL this year and that this push is what it took to get them in contention and possibly to the finish.

    That leaves something like 6 weeks for Stearns to decide what exit to take at the roundabout – buy, sell, stand pat. With Cohen as the Joker in the deck, it’s imaginable that all three are possible.

    A reason to buy: the team is close enough to the post season and maybe a solid pitcher like Luzardo can be had. Im sure this would ding the top farm choices, but maybe you shovel off Baty and risk he somehow figures out the Bigs. It’s an in-division move, but who cares?!?!

    A reason to sell: Let’s face it this has been a great run, but it’s not sustainable, and this team is about the future. Spin off Alonso, JD Mart, and Severino for AA or AAA top prospects and the haul says this team cares about a young, capable, financially stable future, just like Cohen wants. Certainly possible to scare off future FAs in this model, but look at Lindor and Nimmo. Cohen can convince with cash. Yamamoto certainly had plenty coming had he chose NY.

    A reason to stand pat: Look the NL is an embarrassment; everyone can see that. The team as it sits has begun to gel, the team looks happy with all the runs and wins, and it’s entirely possible to make the post season given the sad state of affairs. Add Senga to the mix should the ghost ever return and as we sit, this team has enough to clear the hurdle and get in the October mud pit. Cohen wants teams for the post season and Stearns believes in this group, so this is the ‘24 Mets, we’ve come with minimal expectations and like Cyndi Lauper says: “Mets just wanna have fu-un”.

    Right now, I personally believe better times come with the sell and a continued remake of the team dynamics. It’s possible Pete is not worth the coming deal (I cant believe a Pete lover like me said that). Alvarez, Mauricio, Vientos, Williams, Gilbert, Acuna and others all point to a strong player position future and some young gun arms would be a major boost for a sustainable winner we could all fall in love with.

    • Brian Joura

      It’s a difficult needle to thread but I’d like to see the Mets be both buyers and sellers.

      Severino is nothing special and if they can get something for him, I think they should trade him immediately. Pretty much the same for Bader.

      But unless they’re overwhelmed on a deal for Alonso or JDM – I’d just as soon keep them for a Wild Card chase. And I don’t believe it’s outrageous to think about possibly re-upping with Martinez for 2025.

      It would be nice to have another bullpen arm. But I’m not sure who you would cut from the current pen. Ottavino hasn’t given up an earned run in his last four appearances and it’s not unreasonable to think he just went thru the typical 6-12 game bad stretch that every reliever does. Ditto for Reed Garrett, although it’s only his last three that have been scoreless.

      To me, the biggest weak spot in the pen is Diekman but people would lose their mind if you suggested going without a lefty reliever. A quick look at lefty relievers on clubs likely to be sellers shows the Marlins’ Andrew Nardi as perhaps the best option.

    • Metstabolism

      Its a conversation I started having with myself over the past eight days or so. There are a few variables in here that we cannot project like: where will the Mets actually be in the race a month from now when moves need to start being made (or at least explored) ? (While I acknowledge that this a better roster now than it was a month ago, I would not take for granted that they’ll play slightly north of .500, rather than slightly less, BTW). Where is Senga in his recovery? And most importantly, what is the trade market really offering for our castoffs if we sell, what is it asking for the players we may want to buy? As fans, we can make assumptions, but that doesn’t mean the market will match our hopes.
      At the end of the day, my take is that this rotation does not take them very far in the playoffs. Do we really have the currency to outbid other contenders for an ace? I doubt it.
      Is it somehow possible that by the time they reach the playoffs, Senga is again pitching like an ace, and Scott has developed into a budding #2? Can those two, followed by Severino and/or Manea can actually do some damage for more than just one playoff series or two?? Maybe, but I think its a stretch. And does Scott’s innings limit, whatever it might be, even allow him to reach the playoffs? (I’m projecting 130, with an outside chance that they stretch it to 140 for a playoff series).
      The possibility of a sell-off scaring off free agents like Burnes or Soto is a valid one. And thats exactly why a sell-off cannot start now. At the end of the day, as much as I want to think about and analyze this, the fact remains that we just don’t have a clear enough picture at this time to do so.

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