Atlanta Braves Clinch Playoff Spot
The Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals on Saturday night by a score of 10-1. With the win, the Braves have clinched the second playoff spot in the National League (the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West last week). Atlanta will now turn its sights to clinching the NL East, and possibly even home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Clinching the East
The Atlanta Braves are now 10.5 games up on the Nationals and the magic number to clinch the East is four. The two teams will wrap up a weekend series tomorrow afternoon when Max Fried faces Anibal Sanchez. The Braves will play a series against the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants this week. The Nationals will head to St. Louis to take on the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. The Braves should easily wrap up the East early this week.
The Braves and Dodgers are now very close in the quest for home-field advantage. They are separated by only three games and have very similar situations to wrap up the season. After Sunday, the Braves will head home for 6 games before finishing the season with their final five games on the road. They will play the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets to wrap up the regular season. The Dodgers will wrap up their series with the Mets and then head home for the Tampa Bay Rays and Colorado Rockies. They, too, will finish the regular season on the road with series against the San Diego Padres and Giants. The Dodgers have a slight edge by playing more teams below .500
On another note, the Atlanta Braves were very concerned about their teammate, Charlie Culberson, getting hit in the face with a pitch from Fernando Rodney Saturday. Culberson was carted off the field after getting hit under the right eye with a 90 mph fastball while attempting to bunt the ball in the seventh inning. Initials reports were positive though.