Atlanta Braves Clinch Second Straight NL East Title
The Atlanta Braves clinched their second straight NL East title after defeating the San Francisco Giants 6-0 on Friday night. Ronald Acuña Jr. blasted his 41st home run of the season, and Mike Foltynewicz pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Braves to their record-tying 19th division title. Atlanta’s win ensured that they will start the NL Division Series at home on October 3rd, most likely against the NL Central champion.
Atlanta posted a winning record in every month but March, when they started 0-3. They also currently lead the NL in road wins and wins against teams over .500.
Winning the East
Even though the Braves started 18-20, their dominance over the East was a key reason as to why they won the division. With just three games left against divisional opponents, the Braves current record against the East is 46-27.
The Philadelphia Phillies started out strong, but injuries to players like Andrew McCutchen, Jake Arrieta, and Pat Neshek were detrimental to their division hopes. As for the Washington Nationals, their 18-29 start to the season proved too much to overcome. The New York Mets came back to life late in the season, but never really threatened Atlanta. For the Miami Marlins, 2019 was yet another rebuild.
Not Done Yet
Although winning the division is a huge accomplishment for Atlanta, they have their goals set on much bigger aspirations. For starters, they would love to move past the NLDS. Atlanta hasn’t won a playoff series since 2001, despite making five postseason appearances since then. But if the Braves are to ultimately get to their desired destination—the World Series—they will more than likely have to go through the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves were 2-4 against the Dodgers this season, but were outscored in those games 37-19.
No matter who they match up against, the road to the World Series will not be an easy task for Atlanta. However, if the Braves lineup gets hot, the starting staff works deep into games, and the bullpen continues to stay sharp, look for Atlanta to make some noise in October.
“This is the first step of hopefully a few celebrations to come,” Freeman said. “We’re excited. We’ve got a really good ballclub. We’re just getting started.”
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