Baseball. Zero sum events. And the NY Mets play off hopes

Baseball is a zero sum game. I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook about this lately. One team wins, another loses. It’s a simple concept, and one that many in the Negative Nancy camp are using to say the New York Mets playoff hopes are nonexistent.

This is an incredible misinformed and poor take on Major League Baseball, for many reasons. 

For starters, this idea completely dismisses inter league play. In today’s MLB, there is always at least one inter league series. If one of the Mets competitors loses a 3 game series to an American League team, that is not a zero sum event. It is all positive for the Mets. 

Next, the Mets are not competing against every team in the National league right now. The Los Angels Dodgers are running away with the west. The Cubs seem to be in control of their division. It does not matter how many games these two teams win. And the Dodgers look posed to win a lot of games. If they beat a team the Mets are competing with for the two wild card spots, that only helps the Mets chances. It certainly is not a zero sum event. 

The third piece of the puzzle lays with the Mets. If the Mets are playing well enough to win enough games, some team is losing those games. That team is most likely another wild card contender. If the Mets beat those teams down the stretch, they will rocket up the standings. Mets win. Another wild card team loses. That doesn’t sound like a zero sum event to me. 

Baseball is a zero sum event. One team loses, another wins. No matter what, at the end of the day, the combined winning percentage of the two teams is .500. All of that is true. But the New York Mets aren’t competing against every team in baseball. They aren’t even competing against every team in the National League. Baseball being a zero sum event really doesn’t apply when talking about the Mets playoff chances. Those that push that rhetoric, seem to have their own agendas in mind.