The Atlanta Braves schedule and final weekend scenarios
Here’s everything you need to know about the division scenarios as the Atlanta Braves navigate the last 19 games of their season.
It has been both disappointing and frustrating to see our Atlanta Braves drop 4 of their last 5 games while the Mets have appeared so vulnerable.
Unfortunately, that’s also why the Braves will have to make some inroads against the Phillies over the next 10 days (there are seven matchups against Philadelphia over that time).
The good news is that the Mets are not at all running away with the NL East. In fact, they’ve been downright mediocre dating back a full 5 weeks. Over that span, the Mets have been…
- 4-4 in their last 8 games
- 7-7 in their last 14 games
- 9-9 in their last 18 games
- 10-10 in their last 20 games
- 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, 14-14, 15-15, and finally… 16-16 over their last 32 games.
Frankly, that reads like the Braves’ own results before June arrived.
It hasn’t exactly mattered which opponents the Mets have been up against, either: they just were swept by the Cubs. Washington took 2 of 3. They actually won their series with the Dodgers. Got swept by the equally mediocre Yankees. Mowed down the Phillies in 5 of 7 games, and lost 3 of 4 to the Braves.
But up ahead, the Mets have Pittsburgh (4), Milwaukee (3), Oakland (3), and Miami (2) before coming to Atlanta at the end of the month. Some challenges, but not juggernauts, either.
Given their past several weeks, there’s no way to predict the outcomes here, but the schedule is being kind to them… even inserting 2 extra off-days.
The Coming Head-on Collision
New York has 18 games remaining against Atlanta’s 19 and enjoy this unsightly half-game margin over the Braves in the division as of this writing.
That half-game thing will vanish after tonight, but only for about another week before things finally get sync’d up for good after the 26th.
The Braves will be behind the Mets in terms of total games played by 2 after today’s action (Sept. 15), but the Mets will not play on both September 22nd and 26th, thanks to their own West Coast excursion.
The two clubs have a mutual day off on September 29th ahead of their head-to-head showdown series.
So here’s the bottom line: it is imperative that the Braves enter play against the Mets that weekend (Sept 30/Oct 1/Oct 2) at least tied with them. That would provide some margin for error.
The Braves must sweep the series if they are to gain tie-breaker advantage over the Mets (New York holds a 9-7 season series lead right now). That tie-breaker situation may not arise, but here’s the breakdown of all possible scenarios entering that last weekend.
If Atlanta is…
- 3 games behind on Sept. 29: must sweep Mets to tie them, but tie-breaker now goes to Atlanta if they do.
- 2 games behind on Sept. 29: must sweep because taking only 2 of 3 leaves them 1 short.
- 1 game behind on Sept. 29: must sweep because winning only 2 of 3 leaves Atlanta in a tie… and they’d still lose the tie-breaker 10-9.
- Tied for 1st on Sept. 29: now winning 2 of 3 becomes a viable option to take the lead… but nothing worse than 2 of 3.
- 1 game ahead on Sept. 29: the Braves still have to win the series outright in order to maintain 1st place. Anything less and they’d seriously risk losing the division as the teams would be tied and that tie-breaker goes to the Mets.
- 2 games ahead on Sept. 29: in this scenario, the only truly bad outcome happens if New York were to sweep Atlanta.
- 3 games ahead on Sept. 29: same thing… the only good outcome for the Mets requires them to sweep the Braves.
Any other scenario? The trailing team needs to sweep and beg for help afterward.
Keep in mind with all of this, that both teams will have to expend a lot of energy — and likely their best-available pitching – during this series… but it’s still not the end of the season.
The Mets go face Washington and Atlanta travels to Miami for their respective last 3 games. Whatever the standings may tell us on the morning of October 3rd, that’s still not quite the final answer.
But now you know what each team will have to do.