The Mets have gone into a swoon of late, posting a 12-18 record in their last 30 games while falling under .500 earlier in the month. Injuries have played a major part in this skid, as Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes all hit the DL during the last month. However, all three have returned and Cespedes and been launching home runs left and right. But just as it seemed the Mets turned a corner, Steven Matz was diagnosed with a shoulder strain and hit the DL. Now two-fifths of the Mets’ original rotation is on the shelf, with Zack Wheeler still nowhere in sight. The burning question is: can the Mets get back into the playoff chase or have they dug the hole too deep?
Oddsmakers have noticed the Mets’ misfortunes, and have adjusted their lines accordingly since the start of the season. The Mets are now 60-1 longshots to win the World Series; a far cry from their 10-1 odds when the line opened up. They’re also 30-1 just to win the NL pennant, while that line opened up at 9-2.
The Nationals are currently running away with the NL East with just six weeks of games remaining. The Mets were essentially co-favored to win their division when the campaign began, but now they’re not even ahead of the Miami Marlins for second place. Oddsmakers regard Miami as contenders even without Giancarlo Stanton, as they’re currently 16-1 to win the pennant. With the NL East all but lost, the Mets will have to try and earn a spot in the sudden-death Wild Card game.
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The Giants and Cardinals currently lay claim to the two NL Wild Card spots, with San Francisco holding a slim lead over St. Louis for home field advantage. The Giants have considerably lower odds in the NL pennant futures compared to the Cardinals (5-1 vs. 16-1), mainly because they’re also in the hunt for the NL West against the Dodgers (11-2 to win the pennant), whereas the Cardinals are over 10 games back of the Cubs (7-5 to win the pennant) in the NL Central.
The Mets also have to go through Miami if they want to get into the Wild Card game, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates (a surprising 35-1 to win the pennant), both of whom are ahead of the Mets in the standings as August nears its end.
Mets fans will have to hope that the roster as presently assembled can do the job, as GM Sandy Alderson told reporters last week, “there are no present plans to make any changes.”
That includes manager Terry Collins, whose name has come up in the “hot seat” rumor mill, but whose firing would probably not do anything of consequence in terms of improving this club’s chances to win.
However, Alderson is sympathetic to his irritated fanbase.
“We all have an expectation of winning,” he told ESPN. “None of us uses injuries as an excuse. That’s true inside the organization. That’s true for our fans, as well. That’s why I understand the frustration.”