2) Justin Verlander is regaining his Cy Young form just in time
It's taken some time for the Mets' prize free agent acquisition to look less like old Justin Verlander and more like the Justin Verlander of old, but the veteran righty has rounded into form with a 2.08 ERA in four starts this month.
Verlander was at his best in his most recent start against the White Sox, allowing only a solo home run to Luis Robert in an otherwise sterling eight innings. That was the fifth time in ten starts that he's allowed one run or less.
Though Verlander looking more like an ace is a huge reason the Mets may become buyers at the deadline, the other reason is a practical one. Both he and buddy Max Scherzer have full no-trade clauses in their contracts, meaning they would have to approve any deal that would ship them out.
Verlander and Scherzer will be well-paid no matter where they pitch, but they also want to compete for championships at this point in their careers. It doesn't seem likely that either would be enthused about the team punting on the season by selling the pieces around them, nor does it seem plausible that the Mets would approach the duo about waiving their no-trade clauses for a full teardown.
This leaves buying or standing pat, but if Verlander continues to pitch this well, he may leave the Mets with no choice. "It could be one of the best turnarounds in the history of baseball. Maybe. Still could be," he recently told The Athletic.