With the way the second half of the season has gone for the Atlanta Braves it has left fans looking for any possible silver lining to grasp for. With each loss down the stretch, the team has moved closer and closer to the No. 1 pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.
While the Braves may have in fact sabotaged their roster for the second half, the players on the field are trying to win. Thanks to their series win over Philadelphia, Atlanta has a two game lead over the Phillies for the worst record in the league.
Braves assistant general manager John Coppolella recently discussed the team's situation with MLB.com's Mark Bowman. While they probably wouldn't mind getting the top pick and reaping the financial benefit that comes from it, they aren't actively trying to lose games and don't see a clear cut No. 1 pick in next year's draft.
"Make no mistake, we're not going for the number one pick," Coppolella said. "There's no Bryce Harper or Chipper Jones in this Draft. There's some really good players, but you could easily get the same guy at pick number one that you do at pick number eight."
"It's nice to pick first and it's a cool story and you get more money and that's great," Coppolella said. "But we're also very cognizant of Braves fans and they don't deserve to see a team with the worst record in baseball and 100 losses. We're fighting like crazy every day to avoid that."
There is a smattering of fans that have made chasing the No. 1 pick their rallying cry for the remainder of the season. Even if there is no clear cut No. 1 pick in next years draft, the added flexibility picking at the top is advantageous nonetheless.
Atlanta's next seven games will be against teams currently leading their division. They open a four-game set at Turner Field against the Mets on Thursday while Toronto comes to town for a three-game set next Tuesday. Then they will host the Phillies again before closing with the Mets, Marlins, Nationals and Cardinals.
The Phillies will host Chicago and Washington over the next week before heading to Atlanta. They then close against the Mets, the Marlins twice and the Nationals over the final two weeks of the season.