There’s just one more division up for grabs in the 2022 MLB regular season, and the NL East is set to be decided by a grandstand finish when the Atlanta Braves host the New York Mets for three matches across the final weekend of the 2022 MLB regular season.
The Atlanta Braves have been reeling in the New York Mets for some weeks now. At one stage this season the Mets had a 10.5 wins lead over the Braves. The comeback started in June and into July, and since then the Braves have just gradually eked away at the Mets’ lead, until finally drawing level with them in the penultimate week of the season.
What timing it has been from Brian Snitker’s team. But why should we be surprised? Afterall, the Braves are the defending World Series champions, having won the title last year. So why is it that even now they aren’t the favorites with the best MLB betting sites to win the NL East? And Atlanta (+750) are also only fifth favorites in the betting odds to win the 2022 World Series with BetOnline.
It seems that the defending champs are underestimated at every juncture, which is pretty much what happened last season. And we all know how that ended up.
NL East; The current state of play
At the top of the NL East the Mets went one win clear again last night when they beat the Marlins 5-4. At the same time the Braves picked the worst time ever to throw in a bad performance, losing 3-2 to the struggling Washington Nationals.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 29, 2022
The defeat now hands the initiative back to the Mets, a one win lead at this stage of the season is crucial. And this after all the hard work from the Braves to draw level at the top of the division earlier in the week.
Final: Nationals 3, #Braves 2.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 29, 2022
This also now means if the Mets can inflict a lock out on the Braves, they will be the champions. But on the flip side, a 2-1 series win for the Braves would leave the teams going into the final round of matches all square.
Who is favorite to win the NL East?
The Mets were -200 before last night’s win, they are now in to -400. As for the Braves, they have seen their odds drift from +150 to +275.
It is now imperative that the Braves win match one in the mini-series starting this Friday (September 30th) at SunTrust Park (7.20 pm ET).
The loss for the Braves last night really is a setback. I’ve backed them all season, and I’m not about to abandon them now. It will be hard for them to win the division from this position now, but I’m still going with the Braves.
If nothing else, the Braves are less of a risk to back, as there is no value in backing the Mets at -400.
|NL East Division Winner Betting|
|New York Mets||-400||-390|
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What of the other divisions?
The other five divisions have now all had declared winners after the Cleveland Guardians and the St Louis Cardinals clinched the AL Central and NL Central respectively this week.
— MLB (@MLB) September 28, 2022
They joined the New York Yankees (who finally clinched the AL East last weekend), LA Dodgers (NL West winners) and Houston Astros (AL West) as winners of their respective divisions. All these sides can spend the rest of the regular season focusing on the postseason.
Guardians put AL Central to bed when they defeated the White Sox
The Cleveland Guardians beat the Texas Rangers 10-4 at Globe Life Field on Sunday to clinch the AL Central. But the real work was done in the days leading up to the series win over the Rangers.
Last week the Guardians traveled to Chicago to face their closest AL Central rivals, the White Sox in a three match series. Any sort of win for the White Sox would have put them in with an outside chance, but they managed to lose the series 3-0 to the Guardians. And that was effectively it.
Brewers simply not good enough in NL Central
Over in NL Central the St Louis Blues beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 on Tuesday night. And with that win, sealed the NL Central with seven matches to spare. The Brewers were the only team who could prevent the Cardinals clinching the division, but the defeat left them 7.5 wins behind St Louis with only seven matches left to play.
Yankees finally get over the line
As for the New York Yankees, they did eventually win the AL East with plenty to spare. The series between the Yankees’ two main rivals, the Blue Jays and the Rays, last weekend, did prove to be pivotel.
The two teams could only halve the series two games each, which was just perfect for the Yankees.
Yankees clinch their 20th AL East division title in franchise history.
They join the Braves and Dodgers among franchises with 20 division championships pic.twitter.com/rbAID2tjKw
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) September 28, 2022
At the same time the Blue Jays and the Rays were ending each other's chances, the Yankees were helping themselves to a 4-0 lock out series win over the Red Sox.
The matches between the two sides were closer than previous this year. But the four wins at this stage of the season put the Yankees within one win of clinching the division, and they got that win on Tuesday in Toronto where they beat the Blue Jays 5-2 to win the title.