The New York Mets are far from winning the National League East but remain serious contenders to do it. They’ve been the division leader for most of the year and done so shorthanded at the plate and on the mound.
When weighing out the reasons why the Mets will or will not win the NL East, things are pretty evenly matched. I can think of a few dozen for both columns.
There is one reason why I do think their chances are good. It’s pretty simple. To say the Mets will not win the NL East is to accept that one of the other teams will.
The Mets are flawed but so is the rest of the NL East
Are we really afraid of anyone else in this division? The Miami Marlins aside, the other three teams competing for a playoff berth via NL East victory aren’t so tough off on paper.
The Washington Nationals have been a major disappointment. Their pitching staff hasn’t executed nearly to what some believed it could. Like all teams, injuries have gotten in their way at times. While I’m not ready to bury them quite yet, their chances are growing slimmer with each loss and a potential trade deadline sale on the way.
Then there’s the Atlanta Braves. A favorite of many to win the division, they haven’t been as good as predicted either. They have also had their share of issues this year. Most notably, the injury bug has bitten them in big ways. Most notably, MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr. is out for the year. This clears a nice path for the Mets to get their act together and win the division!
Unfortunately, there is one other team. The Philadelphia Phillies, weak bullpen and all, do have a nice lineup and some starting pitchers that can do damage against any club. If they can ever get their heads screwed on straight, they could give the orange and blue a nice run down the stretch.
It’s tough to actually say any of these teams are worthy of winning a division. To the Mets’ credit, they have won a lot with less than they should have had. I’m not ready to declare them postseason-bound just yet, though. We have more games than all of 2020 left to play with.
Will the Mets capture the division title? I can’t say so with any certainty. However, handing my honored prediction to any other team in the NL East right now feels like more of a stretch.
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