Braves odds to win division spike according to FanGraphs

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Unexpectedly, the Braves received a lot of help from the Nationals this past weekend, who beat the Mets on Saturday and Sunday. Atlanta, of course, enjoyed a sweep of The Fish, trimming the Mets’ lead in the division to just one game with 27 left to play before the end of the season.

As can be seen by this graphic, the NL East has been back-and-forth between the Mets and Braves since the beginning.

Despite that, it’s consistently been the Mets in first place all season. They got off to a torrid start, and the Braves have been playing catch-up since April. Every time Atlanta gets to this point, the Mets seem to have a little extra gear, but that doesn’t mean that can’t change in September. FanGraphs now believes there’s a decent chance the Braves will finish the job once again and win their fifth straight division title.

Braves odds to make the playoffs — 100%

Braves odds to win the division — 29.7%

Braves odds to clinch first-round bye — 29.6%

Braves odds to win World Series — 13.5%

Mets odds to make playoffs — 100%

Mets odds to win division — 70.3%

Mets odds to click first-round bye — 70.1%

Mets odds to win World Series — 16.4%

Aside from having a one-game advantage, FanGraphs still sees the Mets as pretty clear favorites for a couple of reasons. Their schedule remains extremely favorable down the stretch. While the Braves head out for an eight-game road trip out West, the Mets have seven games against the Pirates and Marlins before returning home to play the Cubs and Pirates. The Braves also have seven games remaining against the Phillies.

The scheduling advantage the rest of the way is clear, but as we saw over the weekend, anybody can lose to anybody… especially the Mets in September. What could play an even more pivotal role in the division race, however, is the head-to-head record between the Braves and the Mets.

In the event of a tie atop the division, Major League Baseball has decided to do away with a 163rd game. Instead, the first tiebreaker will be the head-to-head record between the two teams. Currently, the Mets are 9-7 against the Braves with three left to play. So if the Braves want to own that tiebreaker, they will have to sweep the Mets at Truist Park in the second-to-last series of the season. If that doesn’t happen, it means the Mets lead in the division right now is really two games, not one.

You can see why the Mets are still considered pretty substantial favorites to stop the Braves from continuing their division dominance. But with that being said, things can change so quickly in this game. It’s baseball, and anybody can beat anyone on any given night. If the Mets don’t continue to play fantastic down the stretch, they will be caught, and I don’t even think it will be close.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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