The Atlanta Braves extended their winning streak to four-straight games Tuesday night with an 8-2 win over the Washington Nationals. That win coupled with a Mets loss to the Marlins, means that the Braves control their own destiny with seven games remaining in the regular season. Below is a look at where the National League’s playoff picture stands heading into play on Wednesday.
The Division Race
Atlanta improved to 97-58 for the season Tuesday night and climbed into a tie with New York atop the NL East standings. New York still holds the tiebreaker advantage, but the two teams will meet in Atlanta this weekend for a three-game series with the division lead on the line. The Braves will wrap up their series in Washington Wednesday with Jake Odorizzi matching up against Josiah Gray. The Mets will wrap up a two-game series with the Marlins Wednesday night with Taijuan Walker facing off against Jesus Luzardo.
With the possibility of inclement weather this weekend in Atlanta due to Hurricane Ian, Major League Baseball is reportedly discussing contingency plans. However at this time, it doesn’t appear any of them involve moving the series out of Atlanta or starting the series a day earlier on Thursday which is a mutual off day for both clubs.
The Wild Card
The Wild Card race in the National League remained the same Tuesday, but the gap widened between the Padres and the Phillies. The first wild card spot will belong to either the Braves or the Mets depending on who wins the division battle. The Padres defeated the Dodgers 4-3 Tuesday night while the Phillies suffered a 2-1 loss at Wrigley Field. San Diego now has a 2.5 game lead over Philadelphia who has lost seven of its last 10 games overall. The Brewers fell to the Cardinals Tuesday night and remain 1.5 games behind the Phillies for the final playoff spot.
So, the playoff picture in the National League overall is unchanged from our last look on Tuesday, but there is still plenty left to be determined before the end of the regular season.
The winner of the NL East battle will receive a first round bye and would avoid a potential matchup against the Dodgers until the League Championship Series. The Wild Card round will be a best-of-three series that begins on October 7 with the higher seeded teams hosting all three games. The best-of-five Division Series would begin on October 11.