Kyle Muller set to begin crucial series for the Braves in New York

The most pivotal week of the season is here for the Atlanta Braves who will begin a five-game series against the New York Mets with a doubleheader at Citi Field Monday. That might seem like a dramatic statement given that there are still two months remaining in the 2021 regular season, but with the trade deadline scheduled for Friday, Atlanta’s performance over the next five games will likely determine their path for the rest of the way.

The Braves just split a four-game series in Philadelphia and are 48-50 entering play on Monday. They have alternated wins and losses going 4-5 since the All-Star break. They have yet to spend a day above .500 this season and haven’t been at .500 since July 10. Yet, they will begin play Monday just five games back in the NL East standings.

Their performance this week could impact how GM Alex Anthopoulos focuses on the trade deadline. Anthopoulos already acquired outfielder Joc Pederson from the Cubs and catcher Stephen Vogt from the Diamondbacks and said that the focus at that point was to add to the roster. If the Braves can close the gap this week, then upgrades to the bullpen and lineup will be required to remain in contention over the final two months. If the gap widens, then he may be inclined to shed some of the team’s expiring contracts and get a jumpstart on preparing for 2022.

With that as…

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