It’s official: the Atlanta Braves are the best team in baseball. Thursday night, the Braves improved to 103-56 and clinched the best record in baseball with their win over the Chicago Cubs (ATL 5, CHC 3). Atlanta, which clinched the NL East title two weeks ago, has secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Here is the NL postseason bracket at the moment:
- BYE: No. 1 Braves vs. No. 2 Los Angeles Dodgers
- WC1: No. 6 TBD vs. No. 3 Milwaukee Brewers
- WC2: No. 5 TBD vs. No. 4 Philadelphia Phillies
The Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Miami Marlins are battling for those final two wild-card spots and those races may not be decided until Sunday, the final day of the regular season. The Braves will play the winner of WC2, the series against the Phillies, and the NLDS will open at Truist Park on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Atlanta took over the best record in baseball on July 1 and has held it since. Rarely did a team climb within even two games of the top spot. The Braves have been the sport’s most dominant team this season, and, with a sweep of the Washington Nationals this weekend, they would match the 1998 team’s franchise record 106 wins.
For the Braves, the concern now is getting their pitching healthy. Charlie Morton will miss the NLDS with a finger injury and ace Max Fried is working his way back from a blister. Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder are a formidable 1-2 punch, but the Braves will have their best chance to win the title with Morton and Fried healthy.