The New York Mets have fallen to 33-38 and are 12.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East. No one could have seen this coming. Except maybe Mets fans. The team made headlines in the off-season for putting together what would be the highest payroll in Major League Baseball history for the 2023 season.
The wheels haven’t fallen off just yet for the Mets and there’s still a lot of baseball to be played. 91 games to be exact. However, the guys they paid are going to have to get it going sooner rather than later.
Star Talent Not Showing Up
The Mets are paying Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Francisco Lindor just over $120 million this year. Scherzer has been good at times this season but has gotten roughed up in his last couple of outings to bring his ERA to 4.45. His ERA last year was 2.29.
Justin Verlander got a late start because of a shoulder injury but has not been good since making his Mets debut. Verlander, 40, has a 4.40 ERA in his eight starts this season. This is not what Mets fans had hoped for after signing the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner to a two year deal worth just over $43 million annually.
Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor also has yet to meet his lofty expectations in the 2023 season. He’s hitting .213 with a .294 OBP. Both would be career lows. Lindor has been especially poor in the month of June, going 8 for 48.
Mets Odds to Make the Playoffs Take Dramatic Shift
The Mets came into this season as top 5 favorites to win the World Series. Their odds even improved in April, as the team once held a 14-7 record. Since April 22nd, they’ve gone 19-31. This tough stretch of baseball had led to a dramatic shift in the Mets playoff odds.
Mets Odds to Make the Playoffs, April 22nd vs Now, Courtesy of DraftKings
Coming into action on April 22nd the Mets odds to make the playoffs were -800. Those were the second best odds in baseball at the time, only behind the Atlanta Braves. A seven game losing streak at the beginning of June that saw the team get swept by the Blue Jays and the Braves sent their playoff odds into plus money.
Recently the team lost two out of three in Pittsburgh, before splitting at home to the Yankees and losing two out of three to the lowly Cardinals, which also came in front of their home crowd. Pitching has been the biggest issue for the Mets this season. The Mets have lost 10 games this year when they’ve scored 6+ runs, which is the most in baseball. The team ranks 26th in the league in ERA, at 4.68.
On the bright side, Pete Alonso returned to action on Sunday for the Mets. Alonso left a June 7th game against the Braves after being hit by a pitch in the wrist. When he went on the IL he was the MLB home run leader with 22. He’s now second on that list after being overtaken by Shohei Ohtani.
Is Their Value In Taking the Mets’ Playoff Odds?
The Mets have the longest odds they’ve had all season to make the playoffs. Right now they’re 5.5 games back of the third Wild Card spot, with plenty of good teams in front of them.
The Marlins, Giants, Phillies, and Reds are each ahead of the Mets in the WC race and are each riding winning streaks of four games or more. Yet, roster wise you wouldn’t say any of these teams are better than the Mets.
This feels like the buy low moment for this Mets team. Scherzer and Verlander are slumping, while the team’s top bat just returned to the lineup. Combine this with the fact that the Mets have gone 3-11 in their last 14 games, while many of the team’s in the NL WC race are playing their best baseball of the year.
The Mets will attempt to begin their turnaround with a three game set in Houston starting tonight. They’ll have Scherzer going in game one and Verlander taking the hill the next day. After the Houston series the team will head to Philadelphia for three games with the Phillies. The Astros and the Phillies are two tough opponents but the Mets can’t wait any longer to get going.