Surprising Atlanta Braves clinch National League East crown for first time since 2013
The Braves will reach October a year earlier than expected
Mike Foltynewicz held the Phillies hitless through six innings, bending only when Odubel Herrera led off the seventh with a single. Meanwhile, the Braves chased Jake Arrieta after two innings by scoring two runs apiece in the first and second frames to establish a 4-0 lead. The Phillies would threaten in the eighth before falling short.
Although the Braves entered spring with a well-regarded farm system, it's fair to write they were not expected to be this good this quickly.
The Braves received hardware-worthy production from Freddie Freeman, the organization's bellcow, as well as phenom Ronald Acuna Jr., who could well win this year's NL Rookie of the Year Award. Ozzie Albies homered 23 times thanks to a quick start, and Nick Markakis and others pitched in as well. On the mound, the aforementioned Foltynewicz earned a trip to the All-Star Game with his improved performance, and the Braves made smart acquisitions at the deadline, gaining Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach, and Jonny Venters without giving up much.
Add it all together and the Braves rank second in the NL in runs scored, second in OPS, and sixth in ERA. They also have the fifth-best defense in baseball, according to Baseball Prospectus's park-adjusted defensive efficiency metric. That makes for a good team.
This year's division crown is the 18th since the franchise moved to Atlanta -- 14 of those coming consecutively, from 1991 through 2005.
The Braves are likely to play the winner of the NL West -- probably the Los Angeles Dodgers -- in the first round of the postseason. You can check out the generic playoff schedule here as more teams attempt to punch their tickets to the tournament during the coming week.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Sunday's Astros vs. Red Sox game 10,000 tim...
SportsLine's Mike McClure, a DFS pro with nearly $2M in winnings, gives optimal lineup adv...
Here is everything you need to know about the day in baseball
Cano didn't run hard on a double-play ball because he thought there were two outs in the i...
Feierabend, 33, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2014 -- before he became a knuckler
The Diamondbacks have played far and away the fewest games against losing teams in the maj...