The matchup between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves is the showdown you want after a long old season.
The top two in the National League East Division are all set up for a three-game series over the weekend.
|What||New York Mets vs Atlanta Braves, Game One of Three|
|Where||Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia|
|When||19:20 EDT September 30, 2022; 00:20 BST 1st October 2022|
|How to watch||SNY, Bally Sports Southeast, MLBN|
The Mets and the Braves are scheduled to play three games this weekend in a series that will have serious implications on the destiny of the NL East division championship.
Although winning the title this weekend is unlikely for the Mets, if they win all three games then New York will clinch its first NL East title since 2015.
However, the Braves won't be giving up on a title they have successfully held onto for the past four seasons easily. Atlanta will have designs on sweeping the Mets on their own turf themselves and that would mean turning the tiebreaker scenario in their favour as they currently trail the Mets 9-7 in the two sides' head-to-head record this season.
This series could end up being the classic it's anticipated to be.
How have the Mets not won the Division yet? They should have taken the NL East at a canter. This has largely been down to the pursuit of the Braves. On 1st June, Atlanta were 10-and-a-half games back of the Mets and they have slowly chipped away at the lead and even in the past couple of weeks gone top.
The Mets have stumbled but have been playing winning baseball themselves mostly. One big blemish was a sweep by the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field a couple of weeks ago. The mantra from Mets manager Buck Showalter has been you can't do anything about the past, but you can change the present.
The Mets are interested in the now, in the short-term. If they are able to take two wins from the three games, then they will give themselves a chance to clinch the Division as soon as Monday against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Even if the Mets lose two of the three from the Braves this weekend, they will still be in control of their own destiny.
Only an Atlanta sweep would put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as the Division title goes for New York. It would give the Braves a two-game advantage plus the tiebreaker would be in their favour also with three to play.
The Division winner is guaranteed to earn the number two seed spot (LA Dodgers are number one) and a first-round bye into the NL Division series, while the loser will be the number four seed and host a best-of-three Wild Card series against either the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies or the Milwaukee Brewers.
It should be pitching at the highest level. Both sides have been tinkering with their lineups to make sure they have their best starters for the series.
For game one, the New York Mets will have Jacob deGrom, who has a 5-3 record this season with a 2.93 ERA and he'll be up against Max Fried. (13-7, 2.50 ERA)
On Saturday, New York will send up Max Scherzer who has an 11-4 record this year with a 2.13 ERA. Kyle Wright will be on the mound for Atlanta and his record stands at 20-5 with a 3.18 ERA.
Sunday night's finale will see Chris Bassitt pitching for the Mets with a 15-8 record and a 3.27 ERA against the veteran pitcher Charlie Morton for the Braves, the 38-year-old has a 9-6 record with a 4.29 ERA.
Speaking about the up and coming series with the Mets, Atlanta team manager Brian Snitker spoke to MLB.com and said: "Every game is important, this is just another one of them in line. It'll be fun, this is why you play. It's two really good teams going at it, and we'll see what happens."
Mets manager Buck Showalter said: "It's the beauty of what I get to do. You show up at the ballpark and find out what the guys have in-store for you. It's why this season continues to be so special. And why I refuse to let our guys think for one minute that somehow this season is a failure if they end up as a Wild Card, because of everything they've done to put themselves in this position."