NL Wild Card Standings by run differential: Mets hold steady even after blowout loss

The Mets still have one of the best run differentials among those competing for an NL Wild Card spot. What good does it do them?
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

The win column is what matters most. However, if we look at the NL Wild Card standings in a different way, we can get an idea of what type of team the New York Mets are in comparison to some of the competition.

Run differential does a poor job of matching closely with the actual team records. The Mets, now at an even 0 with 416 runs scored and just as many allowed, fall in a much better place than they are in reality.

NL Wild Card standings by run differential makes the Mets look better than they actually are

Here’s how the teams rank by run differential heading into action on Saturday:

1) Atlanta Braves +49
2) San Diego Padres +33
3) Cincinnati Reds +20
4) New York Mets +0
5) Arizona Diamondbacks -2
6) Washington Nationals -20
7) Chicago Cubs -22
8) San Francisco Giants & Pittsburgh Pirates -25
10) St. Louis Cardinals -36
11) Miami Marlins -138
12) Colorado Rockies -142

These rankings don’t come close to matching exactly where teams are. While the Braves and Padres who seem most prepared to secure a playoff spot are indeed in the same spots, it’s the Cardinals with a horrid -36 run differential that has defied the odds most. At 46-41, they’re three games ahead of the Giants for the third wild card spot. Pulling above .500 has been key for them

Everyone else is close enough to where they should be, including the Mets who go into Saturday tied with the Diamondbacks 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. Nearly identical run differentials and both two games below .500, this pair of NL playoff hopefuls have nothing to complain about. They are the best defined .500 teams in this race.

Those poor Reds with a +20 run differential are 4.5 out of a playoff spot. Their run differential is better than the AL West leading Seattle Mariners at +6 and yet it’s their 42-46 record which has them looking upward.

The NL Wild Card race has finally seen some separation with the most notable achievements including the success of the Padres and Cardinals. The Mets, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Reds have all gone a predictable 5-5 in their last 10 games. The seesaw battle rages on with punches exchanged and most of the teams sticking around in mediocrity. This includes the Mets who’ve cooled off tremendously with 3 straight losses. They should be better than this but after going 2-2 against the Diamondbacks, 2-1 versus the Cubs, 2-2 versus the Nationals, and dropping the first game to the Pirates, we see they aren’t any better.