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2022 Mets: Division Win of Utmost Importance

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The 2022 Mets are currently en route to their first divisional championship since 2015, and a Mets Division win is crucial for this team. However, as the reigning champion Braves continue to creep closer in the standings, the team will battle through the summer to try and avoid the fate of the 2021 club. With the newly minted CBA, came expanded playoffs now permitting six teams from each league into the postseason. Despite the easier route to October, the playoff format and current state of the National League all but demand a 2022 Mets Division win.

The New Postseason

As per the new collective bargaining agreement, six teams from each league will reach the playoffs. Three divisional winners, plus the next three best records as wild card teams. The two divisional winners with the best record will be named the 1 and 2 seeds respectively, with the third seed awarded to the remaining division winner, and 4-6 given to the wild card teams in descending order of record.

The wild card round will feature seeds 3 v. 6 and 4 v. 5, with the higher seed receiving home field advantage for all three games. The third seed and sixth seed winner will move on to face the second seed, and the fourth versus fifth winner will face the first overall seed. Clearly, a division win still holds significant weight in terms of postseason seeding.

2022 Mets Division Winner Possible Advantage

As it currently stands, the National League seeds would be as follows: Dodgers, Mets, Brewers, Braves, Padres, and Cardinals. First, a Mets division win would grant the team a first-round bye, potentially saving them from an early exit. Given the elite play of the Dodgers and the continuing slog in the NL Central, it seems likely that any NL East champion will find themselves as the second seed.

Beyond this though, an easier route for the division winner will continue throughout the postseason. A second seed would likely face either the NL Central winner or whichever mediocre team finds themselves as the sixth seed. On the other hand, should the Mets win in the wild card round they would likely face the Dodgers, who continue to dominate the National League, an intimidating matchup even with the 2022 Mets offense.

Simply put, a 2022 Mets division win means that three wins against the Brewers are all that stands between the 2022 Mets and the NLCS. Alternatively, second-place means having to face down two superteams in October just to make the championship series.

Race to the Top

As MLB moves toward the August 2nd trade deadline, the Mets and Braves are locked in the tightest divisional race in baseball. More than that, these two also have the most at stake in terms of postseason seeding.

Looking ahead, the odds seem to favor the Mets. Of their remaining games, the Mets’ opponents have an average winning percentage of just .484, compared to .503 for the Braves. In addition, as of this writing, the Mets hold a 2.5-game lead in the standings. In the end though, the winner will likely be determined by head-to-head matchups. These two teams have a remarkable twelve games remaining against each other, equal to nearly one out of every five of the 2022 Mets’ remaining games.

So far, the Mets hold a 4-3 record against the Braves, but the rivalry is just beginning. The Mets are still awaiting Jacob deGrom’s return, and both teams figure to make significant additions prior to next week’s deadline. While the new postseason format will force the Mets to fight for the division deep into September, if they hold on they will be rewarded with a greater chance at a deep playoff run.

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David Murtha is an MLB writer covering the New York Mets as well as general baseball news. He is a lifelong Mets fan born and raised in Queens. He is also currently a student at Stony Brook University studying biology, and has previously written for other online publications.