The Atlanta Braves entered Wednesday in possession of first place in the NL East division.
They are not alone, though, but they tied the New York Mets after months of a furious chase.
Both teams were 86-51 entering the day, 35 games over .500 and looking like World Series contenders.
Some people believe the Mets collapsed, and that it opened a window of opportunity for Atlanta to swoop in and claim first place.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, the Mets did not collapse: they just didn’t win games at the same incredible pace as the Braves.
“Best record in baseball for 3+ months. This is how you erase a 10.5-game division deficit against an opponent who posted a 51-34 record over that same span,” Bally Sports Braves tweeted, with a picture of the Braves and a key number: 62-24.
Best record in baseball for 3+ months.
This is how you erase a 10.5-game division deficit against an opponent who posted a 51-34 record over that same span 📈 pic.twitter.com/BrjVLjzx3V
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) September 7, 2022
Atlanta Has The Best Record Since June 1
That’s Atlanta’s record since the start of June, the best in MLB over that span.
So, the Mets have been great in the last three months, but the Braves have been better.
It’s as simple as that.
Both teams are currently vying for the divisional crown, which in this case will likely result in a first-round bye in the playoffs, too.
The team that loses the division will have to play in the Wild Card round and risk elimination early in the postseason, while the victor will rest during that first matchup.
The Braves have become an elite organization in baseball: they are doing this in the same season they lost arguably their best hitter in Freddie Freeman.
They have top-notch scouting, player development, and instructors to get the best out of every player.
Atlanta will be extremely tough to beat come October.