The Atlanta Braves’ September roll continued Saturday night with a 4-2 win over the New York Mets to take a one game lead in the NL East standings. Elsewhere, the Wild Card race shifted with Milwaukee missing an opportunity to make up some ground. Below is where the National League’s playoff picture stands heading into play Sunday.
The Division Race
By defeating Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer on back-to-back days, the Braves have taken a one game lead in the NL East. It is Atlanta’s biggest lead of the season and it may be coming at the right time. The Braves will have a chance to sweep the series Sunday which would reduce their magic number to 1 and give them the tiebreaker advantage in the season series. If Atlanta loses Sunday, they will lose the tiebreaker and thus would need help over the final three games of the regular season to claim the division.
The Wild Card
The loser of the NL East race will get the first wild card. The second and third spots remain up for grabs. The Padres picked up a 5-2 win over the White Sox Saturday night and lead the Phillies by two games. The Phillies split a doubleheader in Washington Saturday and have a one game advantage over the Brewers for the final playoff spot. Milwaukee allowed two runs in the ninth and suffered a 4-3 loss to the Marlins.
As you can see below, the playoff picture for the National League looks different with the Braves and the Mets swapping places.
If the playoffs began today, the Braves would have a first round bye along with the Dodgers and would face the winner of the Cardinals/Phillies matchup in a best-of-five series starting on October 11. The Mets would drop to the first wild card spot and would host a best-of-three against the Padres at Citi Field on October 7. The winner of that series would travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in the NLDS on October 11.