For most of the season, there has been a palpable sense of dread that the Nats’ fate would come down to a one game battle with Bryce Harper and the Phillies. They, thankfully, are imploding, so you’d think we could breathe a sigh of relief. Nah. The Mets have decided to whip out a defibrillator on their once-dead season and go on a tear. They’re now just 1.5 games behind the Nats and took two out of three games this weekend from our DC team. Worse, Max Scherzer is still out, and now Juan Soto is day-to-day with a mild ankle sprain.
As of this moment, FanGraphs.com has the Nats projected to finish the season 87-75. That is exactly the minimum number of wins I’ve been saying they need to get into the playoffs. That means the margin of error is essentially zero. They need to go 25-20 in their remaining games to get there, and based on recent history, that may be a problem.
Over their last ten games, the Nats are 5-5. Thankfully, the Braves want to keep things interesting by matching that 5-5 record, but the Mets are 8-2. (The Phillies are 3-7 and the Marlins are 2-8, so hopefully we can stop talking about them now.) In the wild card playoff standings, the Nats currently hold the top spot, but St Louis is only a half game behind, and Milwaukee is only a half game behind them. Worse, the surging Mets are next in line, so it would have been a really, really good thing to take the weekend series from them, which we didn’t. Now, if it ends up that we face the Mets in a one-game playoff, I think we know what our odds will be. Would be nice if the team could catch a little fire, given the less than stellar path the Braves are currently on, and see if they can win the division instead.
Keeping up with a 5-5 average record is not good enough to get into the playoffs, based on the last five years of history.
And speaking of history, look at this little depressing chart. N/A indeed.