- Less than two weeks ago, the Atlanta Braves were four games back of the New York Mets in the NL East
- They now have a slim lead on the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies
- Atlanta’s playoff odds have been trending shorter and shorter
This has been a tale of two seasons for the Atlanta Braves. The three-time reigning NL East champions entered the All-Star break two games under .500 and 4.5 games out of a playoff spot. Since the calendar flipped from July to August, though, the Braves have been on fire.
Now one game up on the Philadelphia Phillies and 2.5 up on the New York Mets in the NL East, Atlanta has improved from a +310 longshot to reach the playoffs to +105, the best odds in the tight division.
2021 NL East Playoff Odds
|Team||Odds to Make Playoffs at DraftKings||Implied Probability|
|New York Mets||+230||30.30%|
Odds as of August 16, 2021.
The Braves are 10-3 in the month of August while the Mets, who led the division for the vast majority of the season, are an abysmal 4-10. Philadelphia is 10-4 overall in August, but 2-4 in its past six following an eight-game win streak.
There are a number of different projection models that forecast teams’ playoff chances. FiveThirtyEight, FanGraphs, and Baseball Prospectus are three of the most popular, and they all have drastically different opinions about the Braves’ playoff chances.
FiveThirtyEight puts Atlanta at 59% to make the playoffs. FanGraphs drops Atlanta to 47.2%. And Baseball Prospectus has that number down at 27.1%. Those average out to 44.37%.
Playoff Projection Models
|New York Mets||11%||16.4%||31.5%|
Projections as of August 16, 2021.
Heading into play on Monday, the Braves and Phillies both had 44 games remaining. The Mets had 45. The Braves schedule is slightly road-heavy. They play two more away games than home games the rest of the way. Atlanta is 31-29 at home and 31-27 on the road.
The Phillies schedule is worse. They have four more games on the road the rest of the way, which is bad news for a team that is 25-32 outside of Philadelphia.
New York, the most futile of the three on the road (36-23 home, 23-35 home), plays one more game away than at home.
The Braves look like a steal at plus money. They are by far the best team in the division in terms of run differential. They boasted a +72 run differential heading into Monday’s game in Miami. The Phillies are well into the negative (-18) and that’s still a little better than the Mets (-25).
Atlanta is without former MVP favorite Ronald Acuna Jr for the season due to an ACL tear.
Their lineup is still mashing without him. They are third in the NL with 587 runs scored. They bolstered their order at the deadline by bringing in Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall.
They also bolstered the back end of their bullpen by acquiring Richard Rodriguez from the Pirates. He’s been nothing short of brilliant since joining the Braves. He’s pitched nine total innings without surrendering a run and allowing just six hits and one walk. He already has four holds to his credit with Atlanta.
Top to bottom, this is the strongest team in the division. They are the three-time reigning NL East champions for a reason, and most of those reasons are still on the roster.
Pick: Braves to Make the Playoffs (+105)