The end of the regular MLB season draws closer, and there is now just one division left up for grabs after the Yankees, Guardians, and Cardinals all clinched their respective division titles over the past few days. The division in question is the NL East, with the battle for supremacy between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets set to go right down to the wire.
Before we move onto the NL East, let’s round up all the other divisions. The Astros clinched the AL West ages ago, and the Dodgers walked to the NL West title what seems like an eternity ago (the Dodgers are also the favorites to win the big one this year with the best MLB World Series betting sites).
But there were three other divisions that were all sealed over the past few days. Starting in the AL East, here is how the titles were finally won.
Starting in the AL East, the New York Yankees finally got the job done thanks to a six match winning run across the past week that has seen them defeat the Pirates twice and the Red Sox four times. During this period, their two closest rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays drew a series 2-2, which allowed the Yankees to extend their lead.
The Blue Jays kept the division alive by beating the Yankees 3-2 on Monday. But the Yankees managed to get the job done by defeating Toronto 5-2 at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday night. With the win clinching them their 20th AL East Division.
In the AL Central, the Cleveland Guardians 10-4 win away to the Texas Rangers on Sunday saw them win their first AL Central title since 2019.
The real damage was done in the mini-series between the Guardians and their closest rivals the White Sox, last week. The Guardians, the youngest team in MLB, won that series 3-0, and that pretty much killed off any chance that Chicago had of catching them.
The Guardians then put the icing on the cake by beating the Rangers in all three matches across the weekend, with the 10-4 win on Sunday sealing the deal.
The Cardinals 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at the American Family Field stadium on Tuesday night was enough for St Louis to clinch the NL Central division.
The Brewers were the Cardinals closest rivals, but they just couldn’t put together that run needed to catch them. Or even a run to put them under some pressure.
Tuesday night’s match was the Brewers last chance and they failed to take it. Meaning they now have to attempt to recover and hope to grab themselves a wildcard.
All this leaves just one division outstanding, the NL East. And boy is this division set up for a final showdown. The two sides, the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets, have been fighting it out for weeks now. But with the Braves hosting the Mets in a best of three mini-series this weekend, the division could finally be decided.
Starting on Friday night at SunTrust Park, the two teams will play over three consecutive days. There is potentially a spanner set to be thrown in the works though.
Hurricane Ian is heading in the direction of the Gulf Coast, and as a result, contingency plans have been discussed. According to reports on the official website of MLB, the matches could be played on October 6th, at the end of the regular season, if required.
Anyway, let’s assume that won’t happen and get back to baseball. And despite watching their lead evaporate in the past few weeks, the New York Mets are still odds on favorites to clinch the NL East division with the best MLB betting sites. BetOnline has the Mets at -200 to win the NL East, with the Atlanta Braves at +150.
You can find more betting offers from this bookmaker in our BetOnline sportsbook review.
After the three match series has concluded, both sides will still have three games remaining. Meaning the title still may not be decided going into the final round of matches. Current betting favorites the Mets will face the Washington Nationals in New York. While the Braves will travel to Miami to face the Marlins over three matches.
The three games this weekend will go a long way to deciding the winner. Whoever comes out victorious there will be in pole position. And if one side can win by a lock out they are virtually assured the division title.
I’m sticking to my mantra of going for the team with the better odds. It feels like the toss of a coin to decide this division, but I’m going for the Atlanta Braves. Despite both teams having similar form of late, the Braves have come from behind over the second half of the season. So I feel that having had the stronger second period, they are in a better position to win the division.