Braves clinch postseason berth for second straight season
Atlanta is headed back to October
The Atlanta Braves on Saturday dominated the Nationals by a score of 10-1 (box score) and in doing so clinched a berth in the postseason.
This means the Braves will be a part of the playoffs for a second straight year, and that's the first time they'll make consecutive postseason appearances since 2012-13. The Braves have yet to clinch the NL East title, but their win over Washington means they have an all but insurmountable 10-1/2 game lead over the Nationals in the division. The Braves' magic number to clinch the NL East is now down to four with 12 games to play.
Saturday's win was the Braves' 93rd of the season, which puts them on pace to finish the regular season with 100 wins. Should that come to pass, the Braves will register their first 100-win season since 2003. The Braves have backed up their current record with a run differential of plus-113. Along the way, the Atlanta offense has ranked second in the NL in OPS and second in home runs. The Braves' pitching staff ranks fourth in the NL in ERA.
At this writing, the Braves trail the Dodgers, the only other team to have clinched a playoff berth at this writing, by 3 1/2 games in the race for top seed in the NL. As things stand now, though, the Braves would face the NL Central champion -- likely the Cardinals -- in the NLDS. The Braves have not advanced past the NLDS round since 2001.
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