2022: A National League East race odyssey

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

The comfortable lead the New York Mets had in the National League East isn’t quite as cozy as it once was. The double-digits between them and the Atlanta Braves have gone down to single-digits. It’s now at a point where if the Mets ever do have a horrific week and the Braves get streaky again, the National League East lead will fall.

Fortunately, the Mets haven’t had one of those rough weeks. They’ve steadily won games regardless of who has appeared on the schedule.

The 2022 National League East race odyssey hasn’t been full of twists. The excitement of it has relied upon what is, what could be, and connections between the past and future—much like the plot of a popular space odyssey.

The Mets are the early winners in the 2022 NL East race odyssey

At 45-24, the Mets own the best record not only in the NL East but in the entire league. It’s not even all that close when considering the number of games already played. The Mets have maintained a mark among some of the best all year-long, recently separating themselves from the Los Angeles Dodgers; a team actually beginning to exchange first place in their own division with the San Diego Padres.

Over in the NL East, the distance between the Mets and Braves is the most important. The awakened Philadelphia Phillies aren’t really as much of a threat. With the Braves still in front of them, it’ll be a challenge for Philadelphia to come close to the Mets.

Fewer than 100 games remain on the schedule for these three squads. One of them is going to win the division. The safe bet is on it being the team that has held the lead for almost all of this journey: the Mets.

Some fans may have grown concerned in recent weeks because of how well the Braves played while the Mets performed a little more average when they went to the West Coast. However, just staying afloat was apparently all the Mets needed to do. Atlanta saw their winning streak snapped against an abysmal Chicago Cubs club over the weekend. And for all of the catching up the Phillies managed to do, they aren’t even in a playoff spot right now.

Entering play on Tuesday, the Mets hold a 5.5 game lead over the Braves with the Phillies trailing by 8.5. Both the Mets and Braves won on Monday while the Phillies had to take a day off to stew on their loss from Sunday.

All three clubs should remain in the conversation for a playoff spot. As of now, the Mets remain the clear frontrunners in the division.

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