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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

It made sense to slot the New York Mets into a Sunday Night TV spot on ESPN a few weeks ago. They had become one of the most compelling stories in a year of surprises in Major League baseball. An expected doormat was suddenly a contender…with surprising pop in their lineup and an aging knuckleballer pitching like he was Cy Young.

Cinderella’s coach turned into a pumpkin sometime over the All-Star Break. The Mets entered the layoff with a 46-41 record that had them in the Wildcard discussion, and within striking distance of first place Washington considering how much time was left in the season. Could this be the Miracle Mets of 1969 all over again? With R.A. Dickey playing the role of Tom Seaver?

 

NY METS AFTER THE BREAK

0-3 at Atlanta

1-2 at Washington

0-3 vs. LA Dodgers

0-3 vs. Washington

Nothing like a 1-11 debacle to take the wind out of your sails! Yeah, that was a tough schedule featuring nothing but contenders. But, there was no doubt when it was over that the Mets weren’t a contender any more. You have to hold your own with playoff caliber teams if you expect anyone to think of you as a playoff caliber team.

What was so bad at the time was the lack of a bounce back at home. The Mets KNEW the season was starting to get away from them. They choked rather than showing the stuff of champions. You can’t go 0-6 on a homestand no matter who you’re playing!

Continuing on….

2-2 at Arizona

3-1 at San Francisco

1-2 at San Diego

1-2 vs. Miami

0-2 vs. Atlanta (pending tonight’s season finale)

They righted the ship for a bit. Sometimes heading to the other side of the country helps you forget your problems back home. New York split with Arizona at a time when the D-backs were bullying bad teams, then stunned San Francisco by the Bay. Was the worst over? No! The Mets are 2-6 since the San Francisco series with lost series to teams with poor records. And, again, we’re seeing big troubles at home. New York is 1-10 at home since the All-Star Break. That just kills crowd enthusiasm and guarantees negative local press.

That 46-41 record at the All-Star Break is now 54-60. Obviously 8-19 is a crushing blow that the team can’t recover from in terms of any miracles. The Mets would have to go 36-12 to reach 90 wins. They’re not going to do that with this roster (particularly with Johan Santana’s statistical collapse since throwing his no-hitter!)…and 90 wins may not be enough to earn a Wildcard anyway. What handicappers have to deal with now is figuring out how the CURRENT Mets are going to play.

*Is this 8-19 slump about to reverse back toward the mean with .500 play moving forward? You can get the Mets in some good live dogs spots if they’re going to start getting some results.

*Are the Mets sinking down to the “Houston, we have a problem” level of the Astros? Houston’s been a joke…but they’re only a little bit behind the Mets now over those last 27 games. It took oddsmakers forever to “catch down” to how poorly Houston was playing during the worst of times. One could argue oddsmakers have been similarly slow to recognize the recent slump of the Mets given Vegas prices.  

Fading the Astros on a daily basis was money in the bank there for a few weeks. See if you can get a read on the Mets tonight so you can keep putting money in YOUR bank!

This evening’s Vegas line: Atlanta (Sheets) -115 at the NY Mets (Niese), total of 7.

And, before you settle in for tonight’s game on ESPN, spend a few minutes mapping out your plans for the coming months. Our VSM experts have great rates for the rest of baseball. And, of course, football has just started…with three more weeks of exhibition action leading into the regular season. You can lock in NOW at very low rates that will provide the most bang for your buck in both baseball and football. Just make a few clicks and have your credit card handy.   

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If you prefer gong day-by-day and picking your spots, big play announcements are posted daily on the VSM home page. Go to the “Buy Picks” page for complete details on what’s available from each of our world famous superstars. Hot handicappers are always waiting to hear from you!

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