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Preview #125: Arizona Diamondbacks @ New York Mets

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At least it’s not the Twins. So there’s that...

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NEW YORK METS
David Peralta - LF Brandon Nimmo - CF
A.J. Pollock - CF Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B
Jake Lamb - 3B Michael Conforto - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Yoenis Cespedes - LF
J.D. Martinez - RF Wilmer Flores - 3B
Daniel Descalso - 2B Dominic Smith - 1B
Ketel Marte - SS Amed Rosario - SS
Jeff Mathis - C Kevin Plawecki - C
Taijuan Walker - RHP Robert Gsellman - RHP

Remember when the Mets were expected to go toe-to-toe with the Nationals for the NL East? More than two-thirds of ESPN’s pundits predicted the Mets to reach the post-season this year, evenly split between doing so as division champions and as a wild-card team. Instead, they’re on pace for the team’s worst record since 2009, and it’s arguably a toss-up as to whether they or the Giants have had the more disappointing season in the National League. And the wheels have completely come off the Mets of late: They are 6-13 in August, and haven’t one consecutive games at Citi Field in virtually a month (July 22).

So, you have to hope the Diamondbacks will take at least three of these contests, and open up some more daylight between themselves and the Brewers. Milwaukee will be facing similarly weak opposition - those previously mentioned Giants - on the road, so it will be dueling series of “should win”. Meanwhile, the Cardinals and Rockies are both off - they will start their series tomorrow, respectively hosting the Padres and visiting the Royals. So a win tonight would pull the D-backs to within one-half game of the Rockies for the first wild-card. A loss, and they could find their wild-card lead cut to 112 games.

And yet, Fangraphs still gives the team a 77.1% chance of making the post-season. I’m not sure you would find many fans who would agree. But I think it’s a bit like the situation in the ninth inning, where your closer comes in to protect a three-run lead, and leads off the inning with a walk and single. Instantly, the tying run is at the plate, and disaster seems imminent. But the win probability for the home team is still actually 89.7% in that situation: it just seems a lot less. I still have faith that the “real” D-backs are the ones we say over the first 120 games, rather than the three we got over the weekend. But the sooner the real ones show up, the happier I’ll be.