NL Wild Card standings by runs scored: Mets finally overtake the Braves

The Mets are in a better spot in the NL Wild Card standings if only runs scored mattered.
Jun 14, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets third baseman Mark Vientos (27) and second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) and shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) and first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrate the victory together after the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets third baseman Mark Vientos (27) and second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) and shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) and first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrate the victory together after the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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The 37-30 Atlanta Braves own the top Wild Card seed and yet they’re doing it in an atypical fashion. Their 294 runs scored is among the lowest in the National League. If you haven’t been paying attention, crossing the plate has been a bit difficult of the biggest thorn in the side of the New York Mets over these last few seasons.

The Mets, with 297 runs scored, aren’t all that much better. Yet for some reason when we see these two lineups matched against each other, Atlanta is far scarier. The biggest difference between these clubs in the actual National League Wild Card standings has been the 262 runs allowed by the Braves versus 324 by the Mets pitching staff.

What if the NL Wild Card standings was a little different?

NL Wild Card standings by runs scored

1-Arizona Diamondbacks 336
2-San Diego Padres 326
3-Cincinnati Reds 301
4-San Francisco Giants 299
5-New York Mets 297
6-Atlanta Braves 294
7-Chicago Cubs 292
8-Washington Nationals 282
9-Pittsburgh Pirates 281
10-Colorado Rockies 280
11-St. Louis Cardinals 266
12-Miami Marlins 244

Objects may be closer to a playoff berth than they appear. Runs haven’t been much of an issue for the Mets in comparison to their biggest competition in the NL Wild Card standings. The Braves, Padres, and Cardinals currently hold the three actual playoff spots with the latter at an even 34-34. The Mets, at 31-37, feel a few miles away because of all of the teams in between them and St. Louis.

Of course, reversing these standings and looking at runs allowed shakes things up a lot differently. The Diamondbacks and Giants have each allowed more runs than the Mets and yet lead them in runs scored. However, many of the teams who’ve scored less than the Mets this year have been better at preventing runs. This is where run-differential helps explain teams best.

Among these teams, six have a run-differential range from the -15 of the Washington Nationals to the -35 of the St. Louis Cardinals. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you beat teams by only one run (the Mets have been doing this a lot lately) or by a dozen. Inching past teams is good enough for now. And apparently, the place where the Mets need to improve more is at preventing others from getting around the bases.

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