Braves Eye Playoffs as Magic Number Continues to Diminish

mlb season start

Getty MLB Opening Day is a bit earlier in 2019.

The playoffs are in sight for the Atlanta Braves thanks to a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants making the magic number 10 games, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This means the Braves need a combination of 10 wins and/or Phillies losses to win the NL East Division title.

The Falcons have their home opener this weekend, Atlanta United is near the top of the MLS table but it is the Braves that are the talk of Atlanta thanks to their five-game winning streak. As of September 13, the Braves are 7 1/2 games up on the Phillies in the division. Young bats like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies have helped the Braves massively outperform the expectations heading into the season. As for veteran Freddie Freeman, he is taking nothing for granted.

“It’s such a sweet, sweet feeling,’’ Freeman told USA Today. “You come in every day with a chance to win every single game. You play knowing you have a chance to win your division and get to the postseason. And you get to scoreboard watch. It’s been a long, long time since I had this feeling…I am so glad I’m a part of this. I never wanted to leave even when things were going so bad. And I certainly don’t want to leave now. I want to be here forever. I hope I’m an Atlanta Brave for the rest of my life.’’

Braves Magic Number is 10 & Atlanta Sits 2 1/2 Games Back From the Cubs for No. 1 Seed in National League

braves cubs

The Cubs narrowly lead the Braves in the NL standings.

Not only are the Braves eying the postseason, but they are within striking distance of the Cubs for the best record in the National League. Braves fans have been scoreboard watching the Phillies, but it may be time to turn their attention to the Cubs. The Braves are just 2 1/2 games back from the Cubs heading into a 10-game homestand.

Atlanta does face Philadelphia seven more times before the end of the season so the Phillies will have an opportunity to make up ground. With the Phillies recent slump, they face an uphill battle to catch the Braves. To end the season, the Braves face the Nationals, Cardinals, Mets and Phillies (twice). The Cubs face the Reds, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Pirates and Cardinals.

If the Braves are able to hold on, it would mark the first postseason birth since 2013. Atlanta has not made it past the NLDS since 2001.

National League Playoff Standings

The following MLB National League standings are as of Thursday, September 13. Teams in bold would make the postseason if the playoffs started today.

No. 1 Cubs (Central) 84 61
No. 2 Braves (East) 82 64
No. 3 Rockies (West) 80 65
No. 4 Brewers (Wild Card) 84 63 +2.5
No. 5 Cardinals (Wild Card) 81 65
Dodgers 79 67 2.0
Diamondbacks 77 69 4.0
Phillies 74 71 6.5
Nationals 74 72 7.0

NL East Standings

Braves 82 64
Phillies 74 71 7.5
Nationals 74 72 8.0
Mets 66 78 15.0
Marlins 57 87 24.0

Braves Would Face Rockies in NLDS Based on Current Standings

braves rockies

GettyThe Braves and Rockies could square off in the postseason.

There is still plenty of baseball left to be played, but the Braves would face the Rockies in the postseason if the season ended today. As of now, the Cardinals would square off with the Brewers in the Wild Card matchup with the winner facing the Cubs. The Nationals are now just a half game back of the Phillies and could end up being Atlanta’s biggest challenger if Philadelphia continues their slide.

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