With just four games left on the schedule -- including one last head-to-head battle -- the Braves have taken a one-game lead over the Mets in the hotly contested NL East race. Saturday was the second game of the three-game series between the two World Series hopefuls and the Braves came through against Mets ace Max Scherzer with a 4-2 victory.
Power hitting was once again the key for the Braves. They homered three times in their 5-2 win over Jacob deGrom and the Mets on Friday and this time around it was a pivotal Dansby Swanson shot and a solo Matt Olson homer to provide some insurance. It's a common formula for the Braves' offense, which leads the NL with 239 homers this season.
Here's the Swanson homer, which turned a 2-1 Mets lead into a 3-2 Braves lead:
The win moves the Braves to 99-59 with the Mets sitting at 98-60. Whoever wins the division will get a bye to the NLDS round with the second NL seed while the loser will be the top wild card, fourth seed in the NL and play the fifth seed in a three-game series at home in the wild-card round.
Also of great importance: There is no longer a Game 163 in the case of ties. There are tiebreakers now, with the first being head-to-head. And it gets even juicier here, because with the Braves win on Saturday night, both teams have gone 9-9 in this series this season. That means whoever prevails Sunday night will hold the tiebreaker.
Should the Braves win, they'd have a two-game lead with three to play and hold the tiebreaker, so it would be pretty tough to blow that. On the other hand, a Mets win would create a tie at the top with three to play while the Mets would hold the tiebreaker.
All this is to say that if both teams take care of business in the final series and sweep, whoever wins Sunday night will win the division. How fun is that?