Braves Take 3 of 4 From Mets to Narrow Division Lead
The NL East race looked like it could turn it to a runaway for the Mets after they took 4 out of 5 from the Braves in New York a couple weeks ago to extend their lead to seven games just as all world ace Jacob deGrom was returning for the Mets.
But since then, the Braves have won 9 out of 10, including an eight game win streak and just took 3 of 4 from the Mets in this week’s series to close the gap to 3.5 games. Can the defending World Series champs come all the way back and win the NL East?
They certainly can, but it will not be easy. For one, they only have one more head to head series, and it is not until the beginning of October and the second to last series of the season. Between the two recent series against the Braves, the Mets had won five out of six themselves, and they will likely continue at a solid pace.
The Braves also have more of a difficult schedule than the Mets down the stretch, and it starts out tough now with a three game set against the first place Houston Astros, who currently have the best record in the American League. The Braves cannot afford to take their foot off the gas and stop winning ballgames, because the Mets certainly won’t either.
Winning this division is absolutely massive, because it will make the difference between a bye in the first round and facing the Wild Card winner, vs. having to play the Wild Card round and if you get through that, having to face the best team in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers. So needless to say, every game is now critical for both squads down the stretch.