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Braves close gap in the East, final Wild Card spot still up for grabs

Atlanta is back within one full game of the NL East lead.

Atlanta Braves v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves continued their road trip Monday night with an 8-0 win over the Washington Nationals. Atlanta has now won three straight games with eight left to play in the 2022 regular season. As we enter the final stretch, the NL East race and the Wild Card are still unsettled.

The Division Race

The Braves have two more games in Washington before returning home for a pivotal three-game series against the Mets. Atlanta picked up a half game in the standings with Monday’s win and are now just one full game back. New York will begin a two-game series with the Marlins Tuesday with Pablo Lopez matching up against Carlos Carrasco. The Mets magic number to clinch the NL East remains at eight.

The Cardinals magic number to clinch the NL Central is down to three. They will begin a brief two-game series in Milwaukee Tuesday night.

The Wild Card

The Braves have a 12 game advantage over the Padres for the first wild card, but things remain in flux behind them. San Diego has won two straight to retake a 1.5 game advantage over the Phillies for the second spot. The Padres will begin a three-game series at home against the Dodgers Tuesday. The Phillies dropped the final two games of their four-game series against Atlanta and are just 3-7 over their last 10 games. They were off Monday and will hit the road for Chicago Tuesday for a three-game set at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. The Brewers are 1.5 games back of the Phillies for the final wild card spot.

Playoff Picture

If the playoffs began today, the Dodgers and the Mets would receive first round byes.

The Wild Card round would feature matchups between the Phillies and Cardinals and the Braves and Padres which would begin on October 7. The winner of the Cardinals/Phillies matchup would advance to take on the Mets while the Braves/Padres winner would head to Los Angels to face the Dodgers in a best-of-five-series which would begin on October 11.

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