Dykstra: You Gotta Be Clutch - TheStreet

Winning is about making the right plays at the right time. As teams enter the stretch run leading to the playoffs, now is the time to come through in the clutch.

With my

Nails on the Numbers newsletter

, I've had a hot hand, and I'm just trying to build on my momentum and ride my system to profits.

I've written a lot about the race in the National League East between my two former teams, the Mets and the Phillies. That race is one I've been keeping an eye on as I'm sure the fans of New York and Philadelphia have been holding on for what may turn out to be one wild ride. That is certainly in the back of everyone's minds after the Phils came from way behind last year to overtake the Mets and clinch the division on the last day of the season.

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The Mets beat the basement-dwelling Washington Nationals 13-10 yesterday after blowing a six-run lead. They extended their lead in the division to 3.5 games. The Phils lost to the Marlins 7-3 yesterday.

In the American League, the surprising Tampa Bay Devil Rays rallied past the Boston Red Sox to take a 2.5-game lead for the top spot in the division. Out West, the Los Angeles Angels beat the Yankees to be the first team in the bigs to clinch a division.

However, despite all the talk about the obvious contenders, one team has seemingly come back from the dead to take a run at the National League wild card. The Houston Astros have gotten hot at the right time. They have won 13 of their last 14 games to close in on the Milwaukee Brewers, who hold a four-game lead in the race.

Hardly anyone considered Houston a legitimate post-season contender as recently as two weeks ago. But with a really hot streak, people are taking notice -- I am one of them. After all, look at last season. The Rockies had an amazing run and rode that all the way to the World Series. They got hot when they needed to.

Houston has 16 games left to make up a four-game deficit. Its not exactly an easy task, but it has been done before. Throughout this column I have noted the importance of getting hot at the right time and making a run. It is also important to rack up gains over the course of the season so that your team is in a good position at crunch time.

Always remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!

At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."