It’s All Down to This: NL East Race Boils Down to Mets-Braves Series

It’s All Down to This: NL East Race Boils Down to Mets-Braves Series


The New York Mets are having one of those seasons. After a lengthy playoff drought and a heartbreaking series of seasons, the Mets are finally pushing toward what looks like a division title in the National League’s Eastern division. However, the team’s unrelenting division rivals, the defending World Champs in Atlanta, are hot on their heels.

Currently, the Braves are only a game and a half behind the first-place Mets, and things could get interesting as the season draws to a close. The Braves will face the Nationals this week as the Mets square off against the Marlins, giving the top two teams in the division a chance to beat up on the bottom two teams. But things get heated starting on Friday when the Braves host the Mets for their final regular-season series of the season.

All Down to This

Late-season pennant races are the stuff of legends, and both teams have a lot on the line. The Mets are looking to break a long NL division title drought, and they’ve played hard to get to this point. If they can win the series in Atlanta this weekend, there’s a solid chance they just win the East outright and secure a coveted by-round going into the playoffs.

Atlanta, on the other hand, has pride on the line. The team has won the NL East division title four times in a row already, and the Braves even went all the way and won the world series last year. Now, they look like one of the first contenders in 20 years that has a shot of winning two back-to-back World Series titles.

Resting the Starting Pitchers

It’s not just about the glory of beating a division rival, either. Whichever team wins the division will secure a spot in the playoffs without having to face the abnormally good Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round. For the Mets, this could prove critical: Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom, the team’s two ace pitchers, aren’t the kinds of guys you want to put on a whirlwind rotation going into the playoffs.

The Braves, likewise, would appreciate a bit of downtime to rest some of their banged-up players, like Spencer Strider and Ronald Acuna Jr. Either way, there’s a lot on the line this weekend in Cobb County, so baseball fans who care about the post-season should tune in starting Friday to see what happens in this extremely close rivalry.