It all seemed like a happy and joyous journey for the Mets in June, when they were 10.5 games ahead of their rivals and playing good ball, but that's the amazing thing about baseball; absolutely anything can happen and nothing is set in stone.
Over the last month, the Queens club lost important games to teams that should not have given them problems, such as the Nationals, Cubs, and recently, the Marlins, one of the worst offensive ball clubs in the league.
The Braves have risen from the ashes in the last month, winning important games and keeping good pressure on the Mets until they finally matched the New York team (97-58) in order to avoid the Wild Card series.
Braves and Mets own their destinies
With less than 10 games to play before the regular season ends, the Braves and Mets will have an epic, movie-worthy conclusion when they meet in Atlanta in a three-game series that will ultimately decide the fate of the two teams.
The winner of the division will avoid the wild card series in addition to securing home field for the playoffs, pending what the Dodgers can do later on.
In a short series like the best-of-three wild card format, anything can happen and the margin of maneuver is limited in case of a loss, which is why both Braves and Mets will prevent at all costs to reach that stage.
Who is the favorite to conquer the NL East?
The series between the Braves and Mets will feature many of the best players in the league, although everything will depend on how effective the pitching of each will be to neutralize the powerful offenses of both. The Mets will rely on two of their aces for the second and third games, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer taking the mound.
While deGrom has allowed five earned runs in 12.1 innings pitched over two games versus Atlanta in 2022, Max Scherzer has allowed just five runs in 20.1 IP against the Braves. Chris Bassitt would open the series, a pitcher who has had a very good 15-8 campaign with a 3.27 ERA, having pitched well against Atlanta in two 2022 appearances as well.
The exciting thing about this series is that the Mets will field their three best pitchers to try to neutralize the best offense in the NL after the Dodgers. All the additives for these three games will make us watch a playoff game before it starts.
Atlanta has an impressive 52-26 record at home this season, making Truist Park a true fortress.
Considering the fact that the Braves are coming in inspired, winning games and cutting a notable deficit against the Mets, it could be said that they are favorites to take the series and probably win the division.
MLB could move series as Hurricane Ian hits
With Hurricane Ian hitting the Southeast this weekend, storms are passing over the Gulf Coast in Florida and possibly moving up into Georgia. Although the Braves and Mets will have a day off on Thursday, MLB is not, under any circumstances, considering starting the three-game series a day earlier.
One of the options is to have a doubleheader on Sunday, although the possibility of holding the games in another location with better weather is also on the table.
The problem is that the Braves would not want to lose the support of their fans, nor would they want to see their box office revenues affected, which in such a decisive series between two of the best teams in the league, promises high attendance at the stadium.