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How Much Does McNeil Injury Hurt Mets’ Chances of Winning the NL Pennant, World Series?

New York Mets Jeff McNeil
The New York Mets have lost two games in a row and also lost Jeff McNeil, who's hitting .332, to a hamstring injury. Photo by slgckgc (Flickr) [CC License]
  • The New York Mets lost .332 hitter Jeff McNeil to a hamstring injury
  • They’ve also lost two games in a row
  • Are their NL Pennant hopes all but finished?

When Jeff McNeil pulled his hamstring, did he also pull down the pennant hopes of the New York Mets with it?

McNeil, third in the National League with a .332 batting average, was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained hamstring. Meanwhile, the Mets, who’d won of 15 to charge back into playoff consideration, have now lost two games in a row.

Is their run of good fortune at an end, or should you still ponder a wager on the Mets to win the NL pennant or in the World Series odds?

2019 World Series Odds

Team Odds at Bovada*
Houston Astros +225
Los Angeles Dodgers +275
New York Yankees +400
Atlanta Braves +1000
Chicago Cubs +1500
Minnesota Twins +1600
Cleveland Indians +1800
New York Mets +2200
St. Louis Cardinals +2500
Washington Nationals +2600

*Odds taken on 08/15/19. Check Bovada for complete list.

New York’s NL club is currently +2200 to win the 2019 World Series. The Mets were +6800 to win the Fall Classic as recently at June 24.

McNeil’s Absence A Massive Loss

McNeil suffered his injury via a hustle play, trying to beat out an infield grounder.

He’s the catalyst for New York’s offense. McNeil trails only Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich in the NL batting race. McNeil’s hit 15 home runs, driven in 55 runs, owns a .400 on-base percentage and a .929 OPS.

The best news for the Mets is that it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury. McNeil shouldn’t be out for more than the 10 days he’s on the IL.

Amed Rosario has taken over as New York’s leadoff hitter. Rosario’s hitting .321/.356/.491 since the All-Star break. He’s also four-for-seven in stolen base attempts over that same span.

Still, 10 days is a long stretch to be without the guy who’s driven the bus for your offense all season long.

Hey Mickey You’re Not So Fine

In their first game without McNeil, the Mets entered the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead over the NL East-leading Braves. They were poised to record a significant momentum-building victory.

Then manager Mickey Callaway inexplicably went to his bullpen. Callaway lifted starter Steven Matz, who’d retired 14 in a row and thrown only 79 pitches.

In came Seth Lugo, New York’s best reliever but it was a doubly puzzling decision, because even if Lugo had held the lead, he wasn’t going three inninngs. Someone would need to close.

It all blew up spectacularly. Lugo surrendered five runs in the seventh inning. The Mets fell nine games out of the division lead.

Ride The Mets Roller Coaster

Long-time NBA coach Flip Saunders used to say that teams will end the way they begin. If that’s the case, the Mets are in for a rough ride to the finish line.

This is a team for whom consistency is a foreign object. The Mets own a pair of seven-game winning streaks. They also endured losing skids of five and seven games. They’ve been walked off nine times this season, and twice in consecutive games.

This roller coaster ride is reflected in their odds this season. Earlier this month, in one week, the Mets went from +6000 to +1900 in the NL pennant odds. In July, they charged in the opposite direction, going from +600 to +2000 in a week’s time.

That sort of volatility is not where you want to be investing your hard-earning money.  The only safe bet where the Mets are concerned is that they will remain the Mets.

In other words, a team that should never be counted on to come through.

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