Entering Thursday’s games, the Braves sit a remarkable 10.5 games behind the Mets for first place in the NL East. We all know what happened last year, and it’s only June 2nd, but that is a larger deficit than they ever faced at any point during their 2021 run. It also has to be considered that the Mets appear to be a much better team than they were a year ago.
In baseball, nothing will ever be decided in the first two months of the season, but anybody saying they are confident the Braves will still capture their fifth consecutive NL East title is lying. They have a giant hill to climb, and the oddsmakers in Vegas as well as the lovely people over at FanGraphs recognize that.
Braves: +500 to win the NL East
According to Odds Checker, the Braves are currently 5/1 underdogs to win the NL East at several betting outlets. I’ve even seen them at +550. That’s pretty good for a team that’s won four consecutive NL East titles and is coming off a season in which they chased the Mets down in similar fashion. However, what this tells me is that Vegas is buying the Mets this season. They don’t believe their hot start is a fluke, and I can’t blame them. While I don’t love New York’s lineup, their pitching is as good as it gets, and it’s only going to get better. They don’t even have half of their starting rotation right now, including two of the best pitchers in the game in Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer. Chasing them down is going to be much tougher than last season.
Braves: 15.9% chance to win the NL East
As juicy as those odds from Vegas are, FanGraphs believes you’re still not getting enough value to bet on the Braves at 5/1. They think those odds should be closer to 6/1, and they are probably right. This is an unbelievable hole Atlanta has dug themselves into in such a short amount of time, and a lot of credit belongs to the Mets, who have consistently played great baseball all season. I do believe the Braves have a couple of lengthy runs in them over the next four months, but in order for them to catch up, the Mets are going to have to go on a slide at some point, which isn’t something they’ve shown any sign of through the first third of the season.
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