The playoff magic number for the New York Mets is 2. That means any combination of two Mets wins or two Milwaukee Brewers losses will put them in the postseason.
Wouldn’t you know, it’s the Brewers the Mets play today.
The Mets will be able to accomplish the first phase of their goal with a single victory. They guarantee themselves at least the third wild card spot with a win and they get a chance to do it against the Brewers.
The Mets still have a lot to do in the regular season
Of course, a third wild card spot isn’t what the Mets have in mind nor will it happen. The Mets are hoping to capture the National League East title with only the first wild card spot as a possible secondary option for them.
You’ve probably noticed from the hairs sticking up on the back of your head that the Atlanta Braves remain right there with the Mets. As the Mets were winning four straight against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Braves won all three of their games against the Philadelphia Phillies.
This series in Milwaukee is one of the final “tough on paper” tests for the Mets. They do visit Atlanta one more time in the penultimate series of the year. Aside from these two teams, only the Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins, and Washington Nationals are on the schedule. That’s a lot of room to win games before the clock strikes game 162.
Because the Mets and Braves are neck and neck, beating up on the Brewers this week will only help Atlanta clinch as well. That was an inevitable event we can only tip our caps at.
Atlanta has an equally simple schedule going forward. They face the Nationals a couple of times, the Phillies again, the Marlins for a series, and host the Mets.
First thing’s first, the Mets can win today and earn a playoff berth. It’s not the spot we want them to have and it won’t be the one they end up with. But with no Mets postseason baseball since 2016, it’s worth popping some alcohol-free champagne; or maybe just a club soda.