MLB News: Braves Ready To Take Down Mets In Crucial Five-Game Series

Ronald Acuña Jr
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

Ernesto Cova

The Atlanta Braves trail the New York Mets by just 3.5 games in the battle for the NL East division.

Now, Braves and Mets are set to face in a five-game series that could determine the divisional champion, even with the key stretch of the season still ahead of us. That's why the reigning World Series champions can't sleep on their laurels.

Braves Are Ready For The Challenge

Brian Snitker
Wikimedia | Bbqsauce13

The Braves are coming off blowing a lead to the Phillies, but they're not worried about their late-inning struggles. If anything, manager Brian Snitker lauds his team for being in this position at this point in the season:

“After you play one hundred and whatever games, you want to be in this position where these games are big,” Snitker said. “After the All-Star break, this thing starts throttling forward and this is what it’s all about. This is good. It will be fun. This is what you sign up for.”

Jake Odorizzi Gives A Big Boost

Jake Odorizzi
Wikimedia | Beisbol

The Braves made a low-key impactful move ahead of the deadline, trading for Jake Odorizzi to bolster their struggling rotation. Notably, the former Astros hurler is familiar with this kind of pressure:

“If you want to win a division, you’ve got to beat the team that’s in front of you,” the newcomer said. “Coming from a team in Houston, we were a first-place team trying to run down the Yankees for the best overall record. It feels similar in that we’re trying to win the division. It’s the same kind of chase.”

This Means More

Charlie Morton
Shutterstock | 51819

Even if they don't win the series, how they play and how they face the challenge could have serious emotional implications for a hypothetical postseason rematch, claims Charlie Morton:

“If you come out of that series and you played really well and you won some of those games, you feel really good about where you’re at,” Morton said.

Braves Want The Top Spot

Charlie Morton
Giphy | MLB

Morton knows this series could be a catalyst for the remainder of the season. But even if they lose, they'll still have a chance to catch up with their rivals somewhere down the line:

“I think that’s the important thing, to set us up for the series that come after that series. Somebody is going to go on a stretch where there’s some separation or you’re gaining some ground. It’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen and who’s going to do it," Morton added.

The stage is set and we're ready to go. So, who'll be on top of the division one week from now? We'll have to wait and see.