Yes, amidst all the rumors and trades, the Mets are still playing baseball games, as it turns out. And they are actually winning them at the moment! The Mets went 5-1 this week, taking two of three from the Padres and sweeping the Pirates. As the deadline approaches, the Mets are in an interesting position, where they have launched themselves into what can perhaps be considered the edges of contention if you squint, mostly due to the parity in the National League this year. However, there are many other teams with more or less the same record as the Mets within one or two games, so they would have to outcompete a lot of teams in order to earn a playoff spot. As of today, the Mets’ playoff odds stand at 14.8% according to Fangraphs and they have hit a weaker part of their schedule. They have to keep up the pace they’ve set in the past week if they have any hope of playing relevant games in September.
The position player meter is pretty balanced this week, as most of the Mets’ wins have been close games. J.D. Davis has been far and away the best offensive performer this week, posting a team-leading 316 wRC+ over 14 plate appearances. He is also tied for the team lead in hits with six and Michael Conforto, with whom he shares that distinction, had eleven more plate appearances this week than he did. Of his six hits, three went for extra bases, including a double and a home run in a big day at the plate on Saturday. Davis picked the right time to get hot, as Dominic Smith has been sidelined with a stress reaction in his foot, installing Davis as the starting left fielder for the time being. Smith had just one hit in eleven plate appearances and was struggling in the outfield before he hit the injured list.
To fill Smith’s roster spot, the Mets called up Aaron Altherr, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI in yesterday’s game after Jeff McNeil left the game due to a hit by pitch. He also contributed with a nice sliding grab in the field.
As I mentioned, the only other Met to collect six hits this week was Michael Conforto, who had a very encouraging week that may be the start of a climb out of the prolonged slump he had been in. Two of his six hits were home runs, including the one that got the scoring started yesterday and the one that snapped the scoreless tie on Saturday between Steven Matz and Trevor Williams. His five RBIs are second on the team for the week. He put up a 130 wRC+ over 25 plate appearances.
The RBI leader for the Mets this week is, of course, Robinson Cano, who had his best game as a Met this week, when he hit three home runs in one game on Tuesday, becoming the oldest second baseman ever to accomplish that feat. Unfortunately, his stat line for the week was otherwise mediocre, but he has been instrumental in the field this week, turning many double plays to help the Mets get out of key situations unscathed. Overall, Cano holds a 99 wRC+ for the week.
Pete Alonso had a weird week at the plate, as he continues to slump. He hit just .118 this week. However, he walked eight times, which by far leads the team and buoys his on-base percentage for the week to .423, which also leads the team for anyone with more than 10 plate appearances. Teams are adjusting to Alonso after his torrid first half and he isn’t getting many pitches to hit. We will see if he makes the adjustments necessary to get back to his slugging ways.
On the position player side, the Mets player most likely to be moved at the trading deadline is Todd Frazier, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. He had a solid, but unremarkable week at the plate, posting a 96 wRC+ over 23 plate appearances. He collected five hits, including a home run as part of the Mets’ four home run effort on Friday night. He walked twice, scored four runs, and drove in four runs.
Wilson Ramos also got in on the fun on Friday night, hitting a solo homer—his tenth of the season. Overall, he struggled at the plate this week, however, posting a .222/.286/.389 slash line with a 77 wRC+. He walked twice, drove in two runs, and scored two runs. Tomas Nido, meanwhile, had just two plate appearances this week and went hitless.
I feel like I write this every week, but Jeff McNeil continues to be Jeff McNeil. He put up a 148 wRC+ over 18 plate appearances this week. He collected four hits—including a home run that helped land him a puppy—a walk, three RBIs, and three runs scored. McNeil has been striking out a little bit more of late than we are accustomed to seeing, but it is not yet at the point where it is anything to be concerned about. His .336 batting average for the year has slipped one point behind Christian Yelich for the batting title.
Adeiny Hechavarria and Juan Lagares both did well off the bench this week. Hechavarria got a hit and scored what ended up to be a crucial insurance run in yesterday’s game. Lagares went 3-for-6 over five games this week.