Of the three 2021 National League Divisional champs, the Atlanta Braves finished the 2021 season with the worst record and lowest winning percentage. The Braves finished atop the 2021 NL East with a 88-73 record and a .547 winning percentage. Atlanta went on to win the NL pennant and the 2021 World Series.
The finishing order of the NL East in 2021 was Atlanta (88-73), Philadelphia Phillies (82-80), New York Mets (77-85), Miami Marlins (67-95) and Washington Nationals (65-97).
With 16 games left to play in the 2022 Major League Baseball season, the Braves have a better record in 2022 than they did in 2021. Atlanta stands at 91-55. However, the New York Mets (93-55) have crushed their win total from last season (77) and hold a one-game lead over the Braves heading down the stretch.
The race in the NL East is between the Mets and the Braves and that race is far from decided. The Marlins (60-87) and Nationals (51-95) have been officially eliminated from the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Phillies (80-66) are still in the Wild Card hunt, but they have effectively eliminated from winning the NL East in 2022.
2022 National League East picks
|To Win 2022 NL East|
|New York Mets||-225||-240||-240|
New York Mets
The New York Mets’ opening day payroll in 2022 was close to $100 million higher than the team’s opening day expenditures in 2021. With the bump in salaries, the Mets started 2022 second to the Los Angeles Dodgers in spending. The team added big contracts for Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar to hit that number. The spending, $273.9 million, which is the most in the league right now thanks to Trevor Bauer’s suspension, has paid enormous dividends for the club.
The Mets’ lead over the Braves has slowly dwindled over the second half of the season, but the team is hitting very well. New York also got some good news this week as Scherzer came off the disabled list.
The Mets’ schedule to finish the season has them facing the Braves for three games in Atlanta before moving on to wrap things up at home in a three-game stint against the Nationals.
The Atlanta Braves have been chipping away at the NL East lead of the New York Mets. In early June, the Braves were eight games behind the Mets. Today, Atlanta is just one game behind the Mets.
The Braves have been excellent in scoring and preventing their opposition from putting up runs this year. Atlanta is No. 3 in MLB in runs scored with 721, seventh in runs against at 553 and fourth in run differential at plus 168. They are better than the Mets in runs scored (721i vs. 695) and run differential (plus 168 vs. plus 146), but have allowed more runs than New York (553 vs. 549).
Atlanta has a favorable schedule to close the season. They play Washington six times and Miami three times. They also have a four-game stint against Philadelphia, a team they just swept in a three-game series. The Braves and Mets also have a three-game series in Atlanta, where the Braves are 50-25 on the season.
The 2022 NL East race is going to come down to the wire, but I think the Braves schedule favors them. With that, I think the best bet when it comes to the National League East race is to go with the value and take the Braves to win.
Pick: Atlanta Braves to win 2022 National League East.
See below a list of reliable sportsbooks and choose the best one for you.