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The race for the top seed in the NL East might just come down to a series between two titans. The New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves are in a dead heat for one of the first-round byes in the 2022 MLB playoffs. With just one game separating the two teams, their upcoming three-game series against each other may very well decide who goes straight to the NLDS.

Ahead of the series opener in Truist Park, let’s take a look at the potential MLB Playoff tiebreaker scenarios and the potential rules that can impact the Braves and the Mets’ race for the NL East crown.


The Braves and the Mets are currently two of the best teams in the entire league right now, and both are duking it out for a critical first-round bye in the 2022 MLB playoffs. The Mets have been dominant all season long, leading the NL East for most of the season. Thanks to the efforts of their offseason acquisitions, such as Max Scherzer and Starling Marte, they have held a steady grip on the division. The Braves, meanwhile, weathered a World Series hangover and stormed their way to challenge New York head on. The emergence of their star rookie duo, Spencer Strider and Michael Harris, helped them return back to form.

Prior to this series, the Braves had a chance to be even with the Mets. However, in their latest game, Atlanta lost in extra innings against the Washington Nationals, while New York eked out a win against the Miami Marlins. That means that heading into Friday night, the standings are as follows:

  1. NYM (98 – 58)
  2. ATL (97 – 59, 1 GB)

Both the Braves and the Mets are certainly capable of slugging through a three-game Wild Card series. However, losing the division crown means getting less rest… and eventually meeting the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. For as good as both teams have been, the Dodgers have been on another level this season. The ideal path to the World Series involves dodging LA for as long as possible in the 2022 MLB Playoffs.

Because of that, both the Mets and the Braves are pulling out all the stops to gain an advantage. New York will be trotting out its murderer’s row of pitchers for the next three days: Jacob deGrom for the opener, Max Scherzer on Saturday, and Chris Bassitt on Sunday.

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Meanwhile, Atlanta will bring out their best group with Spencer Strider out due to an injury: Max Fried on Friday, Kyle Wright on Saturday, and Charlie Morton for the finale. Fried vs. deGrom, in particular, will be a scintillating match, as both teams throw their best punches to try and control the series.

These upcoming matchups have massive implications in the chase for the NL East trophy and the 2022 MLB Playoffs. Currently, the Mets hold the series lead over the Braves, 9-7. For Atlanta to control their own destiny in this race, they will need to sweep New York. Here’s why.

Potential outcomes and tiebreakers

The best-case scenario for the Mets is for them to win the series outright, whether it’s through a sweep or a 2-1 win. A 3-0 series win is the ideal case, as it automatically guarantees that New York nabs the NL East and the first-round bye for the 2022 MLB Playoffs. On the other hand, a 2-1 series would give the Mets a two-game lead and a magic number of one against the Washington Nationals to clinch the division.

As mentioned, the Braves need to sweep the Mets 3-0 for them to have a shot at clinching the first-round bye for the 2022 MLB playoffs. Doing so would give them a two-game lead and a magic number of one against the Marlins on the road. However… if they win the series 2-1, things get a lot more complicated.

A 2-1 series win for the Braves means that they’ll be tied with the Mets for the NL East. However, tiebreaker rules state that the first tiebreak will be determined by who won the head-to-head series. Because of that, New York will have the tiebreak over Atlanta.

The Braves will need to win more than one game over the Mets for them to clinch the division in this hypothetical scenario. Considering that NY will be going up against a struggling Washington team at home… that seems like an impossible task.

The Mets are heavily favored in this race for the NL East crown. They have the record advantage AND the tiebreak advantage to fend off the pesky Braves. Atlanta has a herculean task upon them: sweep this juggernaut New York team that is sending their best pitchers against your rotation. Who will come out on top of this titanic battle?