Atlanta Braves: It’s a Brand New Season in the NL East

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 11: Ozzie Albies #1 of the Atlanta Braves watches after hitting a walk off, three-run home run in the eleventh inning of an MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on August 11, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 11: Ozzie Albies #1 of the Atlanta Braves watches after hitting a walk off, three-run home run in the eleventh inning of an MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on August 11, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Despite everything that’s happened this year for the Atlanta Braves, they enter Thursday with brand new life in the NL East going forward. 

As the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets enter play on Thursday it’s essentially a brand new season for all three teams.

The Braves and Phillies are tied atop the division with the Mets just a game back — meaning we’re basically back at square one.

No matter what has happened in the first four-plus months of this season, all that matters now is what happens over the next 48 games for the Braves.

All three teams have the exact same number of losses, while the Mets have two fewer wins.

The Braves have 22 games left against teams above .500 with their other 26 games coming against teams who are at least 10 games under .500.

I’ve talked about the Phillies and their easy schedule in September making them the biggest threat in the NL East. They just have 18 games left with teams who have a winning record and 27 against teams at least 10 games under. 500, including seven games against the basement-dwelling Diamondbacks, four against the miserable Pirates, and three against the Orioles.

In fact, just before their series with the Braves at the end of September, they’ll be coming off a seven-game stretch against the Orioles and Pirates. You’ll know they’ll be on a hot streak coming into that huge series.

As for the Mets, they’re about to enter a brutal stretch of games with three against the Dodgers, three against the Giants, four more against the Dodgers, and three more against the Giants.

There is a good chance they could be buried in the standings after that stretch.

However, they do have 20 games left against teams below .500 — all of those games come against the Nationals and Marlins.

The rest of their games are against the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies, Red Sox, Brewers, and Braves.

All three of these teams only have one series left against each other.

The Mets and Phillies will square off in a three-game set September 17-18, while the Mets and Braves will end the season facing each other at Truist Park for three games.

Meanwhile, the Phillies and Braves play a three-game set at Truist Park in the second-to-last series of the year — those last six games will be fun.

Braves — NL East Trends

Looking at the trends for each team, I think you’d have to say the Braves are the ones trending in the right direction the most.

They just got Travis d’Arnaud back, which help what has been one of the weakest positions for the Braves all year.

Ian Anderson and Huascar Ynoa are both close to returning, which will only further strengthen what has been a strong starting staff and improving bullpen.

While the Phillies are certainly playing much better as of late before running into the Dodgers, they’re a little banged up now. J.T. Realmuto left Wednesday’s game after getting hit in the head twice with foul balls for concussion symptoms.

Rhys Hoskins and Jose Alverado are currently on the IL.

And then you have the Mets who are without maybe the best player on the planet in Jacob deGrom and there are serious concerns he might not be able to return before the season ends.

They’ve also been without Francisco Lindor, but he could be returning soon. However, now Javier Baez is day-to-day.

There is a chance the Mets get Noah Syndergaard back in early September, but that’s asking a lot of him coming off TJ surgery.

Next. Ozzie Didn't Miss the 2nd Time. dark

It will be an exciting 48-50 game stretch for these three teams in the NL East. And despite all the troubles this Braves team has had to deal with in 2021, all of their goals remain in reach heading down the stretch.