As the 2022 MLB season enters the stretch run, the NL East looks to be the most competitive divisional race in all of baseball. The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves are battling for first place and important playoff seedings.

The Mets have a half-game lead on the Braves in the NL East. New York has 24 games left on its schedule and is looking to hold off the league's hottest team.

The defending World Series champions are on a seven-game winning streak and have tied the Mets in the loss column. Atlanta has a 30-13 record since the All-Star Break, overcoming a 23-37 start to the season.

The Mets started June with a 34-17 record and a 10.5-game lead on Atlanta.

Aside from a recent three-game losing streak, New York hasn't played particularly poorly. The Mets are 29-16 since the break and swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in a doubleheader Wednesday.

The Mets and Braves are the only two teams that haven't had a losing streak longer than three games this season.

New York has the edge over Atlanta in the final weeks of the season. The Mets have the easiest schedule in baseball, based on opponents' winning percentage. New York has upcoming series against the Pirates, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, each of which are more than 22 games under .500.

The Mets have a 10-6 head-to-head record against the Braves. Because New York owns the season series, it will win the division if the two teams finish the season with the same record.

Atlanta has the 19th-most difficult schedule left.

The NL East title could be determined when the rivals meet for a series in Atlanta during the final week of the regular season. Whichever team finishes in second-place will almost certainly earn the NL's first wild-card berth.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have an eight-game lead over the Mets atop the NL standings. The Braves are 5.5 games ahead of the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals. In all likelihood, the NL East champ will earn the No. 2 seed and a bye in the wild-card playoff round.

The Mets are dealing with injuries to two of their most important players. Pitcher Max Scherzer is on the injured list and ineligible to return until Sept. 19. Starling Marte suffered a partial non-displaced fracture to his finger, and it's uncertain if the outfielder will be forced to go on the IL.

The Braves have won four straight NL East crowns. The Mets last won the division title in 2015 before playing in that year's World Series.

The second-place team in the NL East is currently on track to host the San Diego Padres in a wild-card round series.

Max Scherzer New York Mets
Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 11-4. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)