3 reasons the Atlanta Braves can’t afford to lose the NL East

Oct 30, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; The World Series logo on the field as the grounds crew prepares for game four of the 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For the Atlanta Braves, the road back to the World Series will likely be easier if the defending champions can avoid the Wild Card round and win the National League East.

Entering Monday’s play 1.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East race, the Atlanta Braves still have an opportunity to grab control of the division, with a pivotal three-game series between the two teams beginning at Truist Park on Friday. By the time the weekend ends, the Braves and Mets could well know their fates when it comes to which team will win the division and get a bye in the postseason, and which team will be forced into the best-of-three Wild Card round.

The seeding in the National League postseason bracket is simple. The winner of the National League East (either the Braves or the Mets) will be the No. 2 seed and have home-field advantage when taking on the winner of the Wild Card round between the 3 seed (the St. Louis Cardinals) and the 6 seed (as of Monday, the Philadelphia Phillies). The team that doesn’t win the NL East will be the 4 seed and host the 5 seed (as of Monday, the San Diego Padres) in the Wild Card round, then the winner will move on to meet the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers.

Let’s take a look at 3 big reasons why the Atlanta Braves must win the NL East over the New York Mets

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