The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets are locked in a tight division race atop the NL East. The Philadelphia Phillies are trying to hang on, but their best bet is to play for a Wild Card spot. The Mets lead the division as of story's publication. Atlanta is still alive and well in the division race and they are looking to complete the comeback.

Can Atlanta realistically win the division? Here are 3 reasons the Braves will win the NL East.

3. Braves pitching can keep up with the Mets

No, the Braves don't have Jacob deGrom or Max Scherzer. But Atlanta has a pitching rotation that can keep up with New York. Max Fried is a true ace. The left-hander is capable of leading the Braves and has shown the ability to step up in big games.

Spencer Strider has been nothing short of terrific in 2022. The young right-hander is a strikeout machine who recently punched out 16 Colorado Rockies players. Kyle Wright is another impressive young arm.

Meanwhile, veterans Charlie Morton and Jake Odorizzi will be crucial for the Braves down the stretch. They add an extra layer of depth for this ball club.

On the season, Atlanta is ranked 5th in team ERA, 8th in team WHIP, 4th in home runs surrendered, and 4th in batting average against.

2. Braves will out-slug the Mets

The Mets' offense has seen drastic improvements from last season. But the Braves still feature a better overall lineup from a power perspective.

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The Mets rank 11th in slugging percentage, 16th in home runs, and 5th in runs scored. The Braves are second in slugging percentage, second in home runs, and second in runs scored. Atlanta's offense isn't far behind the Dodgers' jaw-dropping lineup. And that's after losing Freddie Freeman to LA.

So Atlanta's power advantage over New York will pay dividends as the season rolls on. Austin Riley is in the MVP conversation with 34 home runs. But Matt Olson, who hasn't been talked about much, has blasted 27 homers. Riley and Olson make for a lethal power duo. Additionally, Dansby Swanson and William Contreras feature pop. The return of Ozzie Albies from the IL will make the lineup even deeper.

The Mets will need their entire pitching staff to step up if they want to contain this Braves batting order.

1. Reigning champions

Finally, the Braves are the MLB reigning champions. They know what it takes to upset the odds and make a deep playoff run. Atlanta snuck into the postseason with a late run in 2021. And their team is just as good this year. The loss of Freddie Freeman has hurt to an extent, but Matt Olson has held his own at first base in Atlanta.

The Mets have a number of players who have made playoff runs. But the team itself hasn't seen postseason action since 2016. Franchise momentum is a real thing and the Braves hold the advantage in that department.

In the end, this is going to be arguably the best divisional race down the stretch. The AL Central is the only division with a closer race, but the teams are not as good. Meanwhile, the Yankees still have a sizable lead in the AL East, the Astros and Dodgers hold a commanding lead in both West divisions, and the Cardinals are beginning to run away with the NL Central.

So that leaves the Mets and Braves in the NL East. Buckle up, this is going to be one heck of a final month. But the Braves have a roster that can get the job done.