The New York Mets are on the verge of completing one of the most surprising and unlikely seasons of the 2015 MLB calendar. While the preseason called for the Mets to be a fringe wild card contender that could build a threat with its tremendous young pitching, there seemed to be not much else to go well over the .500 mark. To make matters worse, they shared a division with the almighty Washington Nationals, who were given an 87% chance to win the division, according to Fangraphs.
With two weeks left to go in the regular season, the Mets are 84-64, with a 6.5-game lead over the Nationals in the NL East, and 98.6% odds to win the division. They have already surpassed their preseason projected win total, and the current Mets are almost a lock to have the first 90-win season and playoff appearance since 2006, when New York came painfully close of making the World Series.
While the pitching has held its end of the bargain (6th in MLB in FIP, 4th in ERA, and 6th in WAR), the Mets’ season was at risk of being nothing more than a building block around the trade deadline. The Mets entered August with a 53-50 record, two games behind the Nationals in the division, and 3.5 back of the second wild card. They had a -6 run differential, and were scoring 3.5 runs per game. They were also fresh off botching a trade for Milwaukee’s outfielder Carlos Gomez, which would have been a good addition to boost the offense.
Almost serendipitously, they ran into the opportunity of trading for Detroit’s Yoenis Cespedes, after the Tigers had announced to the rest of the league that all of their pending free agents were available. Cespedes was acquired by the Mets almost at the last minute for two minor-league prospects, meaning that he would be playing for his fourth team in four seasons. His arrival in New York was seen as a call towards progress for the embattled New York front office, but I guess nobody actually expected what would happen.
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