Major League Baseball is watching the weather and pondering contingency plans for this weekend’s key series between the Atlanta Braves and the visiting New York Mets.
The three-game, head-to-head series could decide the winner of the National League East, but Hurricane Ian – battering the west coast of Florida on Wednesday with rain and winds of up to 155 mph — could cause a wet weekend at Truist Park just outside Atlanta as its remnants move north.
The chance for rain in the Atlanta area is highest on Saturday at 73 percent, according to The Weather Channel.
The teams have identical 97-58 records and are tied for first place in the National League East. Both have clinched a playoff berth, but the winner of the division will earn a first-round bye. The second-place finisher must play a wild-card series.
MLB.com reported that relocating the games to a neutral site was not likely as of Wednesday morning. Multiple reports said a Sunday doubleheader was a possibility.
Mets manager Buck Showalter said he couldn’t talk about scenarios under consideration and that general manager Billy Eppler was part of the group working on the details.
“I don’t get involved in it,” Showalter said. “[Eppler] is great at keeping me up to speed on it and what I need to know and what I don’t need to know. I’m perfectly comfortable that he’s got all this wired. I’ve got enough spinning my head.”
The Mets host the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, and the Braves are on the road against the Washington Nationals. Both teams are off Thursday, and it wasn’t clear when MLB would finalize plans for the weekend series.