To start, let’s recap what the Mets did this past week. They won. Since we took a look at the Mets season last week they played 8 games and won 7 of them. The team has continued to be relentless each and every night, never giving up.The bullpen has continued to be the most important part of the team and the lineup has had someone different contribute each day to get the win.
Things have gone the right way to this point even with not everyone individually competing at their highest level to this point. Neither deGrom or Syndergaard have pitched past the 6th inning, Yoenis Cespedes has a batting average below .200, and the Mets lost both of their catchers for the foreseeable future.
However, Mickey Callaway has continued to pull most of the right strings, with the team bailing him out if he makes the wrong move, Cespedes actually has 12 RBI’s, the 4th most RBI’s in the major leagues, and in the 7 games that deGrom or Syndergaard have started the team has been victorious.
The dominance that this team has shown to this point in the season has brought them to a 12-2 record and they are 75 wins away from the magic number, 87. Now, if you are confused why I am talking about a magic number in April, or why I said 87 is their magic number don’t worry, I will explain.
Most of us don’t hear “magic number” talk until September, but I think it might be fun to keep track of how far away this team is from a playoff berth throughout the season. You might still be confused as to why I think 87 wins is the magic number, making 75 more wins all that is necessary for the Mets to make the playoffs, well don’t worry it is really simple.
In 2012 the MLB expanded playoffs by adding a second wild card team to the mix. Now, the first seed and second seed in the wild card face off in a one game playoff to see who will make it to the divisional series. Since the 2012 playoff expansion, every National League team that has won at least 87 games has claimed one of the two wild card spots.
So, that is where the magic number I was talking about comes into play. I know it is really early, and as hot as the Mets are now there is no guarantee that they will continue their red hot start. Luckily, to make the playoffs they no longer have to. Like I said before all they need is 75 more wins to get to the playoffs as long as history repeats itself.
Right now the Mets have a .857 winning percentage and if that continued they would be on pace to win 126 games. That record would make the Mets feel like saying:
That is exactly what a 126 win season would feel like, however, that is also highly unlikely to occur and frankly, not necessary. The Mets don’t need to win 126 games they just need 87. In order to win 87 games, they just need to have a winning percentage of .506. There are 148 games remaining in this marathon of a season and that .506 winning percentage leads to a 75-73 record over that time.
75-73 is all the Mets need to get a wild card spot and that seems simple enough, it basically means they need to play .500 baseball the rest of the way, which is more than likely on a team with as much talent as the Mets have.
Things can go wrong quickly, which we saw when the Mets lost their top two catching options in 24 hours and have seen the past few seasons, especially last year. Playoffs are never a guarantee no matter how hot you may start the season, but the Mets are on the right path to getting back to October baseball.
I also want to update the odds of my preseason prediction coming true. I predicted the Mets would win the NL East with a record of 91-71 and the likelihood of that happening is somewhat high at this point.
The Nationals are struggling mightily to start the season without Daniel Murphy and even though the Phillies and Braves are above .500 and keeping up with the Mets at this point it is not likely their success continues. The Nationals will probably turn it around but this organization has done nothing to prove they will get over the hump this season even with Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper dominating in this young season.
At this point, it is more likely that the Mets will win the NL East than the Nationals, Phillies, Braves, or Marlins. I still think the Mets will win 91 games this season and their hot start has made that a legitimate possibility just like a playoff berth.
To win 91 games the Mets will need to go 79-69 over the next 148 games, that is a .534 winning percentage. The .534 winning percentage is no walk in the park, but over a 162 game pace that is just 86.5 wins.
The Mets have been great to start this season and only time will tell as to how great they can be, but a .506 winning percentage for the rest of the season is all they’ll need to get a shot at the World Series. The magic number is 87 and they have 75 wins left to get there, but I can’t lie, on the inside, I’m hoping for 79 more wins, because, well I would be right.
This upcoming week the Mets have a huge 7 games. They have a 3 game set at home versus the Nationals and a 4 game series in Atlanta versus the Braves.