The Mets are playing for pride, for the future of Terry Collins and for the most part, the future. It's an epic conflict of interest. Players like Lucas Duda, Dice K, Juan Lagares and so many others are auditioning for roles in the majors. In the process however, they are risking a future portion of the franchise.
The Mets currently sit in a fourth place tie for the ninth worse record in baseball. I haven't the first clue as to how the tie breakers work when it comes to protected draft picks, but the Mets recent stretch of good play has certainly put theirs in jeopardy.
I may fall in the minority here, but there is no difference between 70 wins and 75 wins for me. The team will have still finished well out of the playoff picture and made little to no progress towards finding its future identity. The tiny moral victory that would be finishing ahead of the Phillies in the division is just that, nothing more than being able to say my team sucks a little bit less than yours.
And so with one turn through the rotation to go, I'd actually prefer the Mets tank for a change. Lord knows they've been so proficient at it in the past. Lose now, so the front office has one less excuse at its disposal this winter when the free agent period opens. Lose meaningless games now, so there is even a slightly better chance you can win meaningful games later.