The Atlanta Braves are ahead in the NL East standings for now thanks to a scorching stretch in early August, but how long will that last?
At some point, every baseball team comes crashing back down the Earth. The Braves nine straight wins in mid-August could not last forever, and now the Braves must look at their remaining schedule and take advantage of clear weak spots in their slate.
Even without Ronald Acuña, the Braves have excelled thanks to clutch trade deadline acquisitions by the front office in Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall. The rotation has come around with Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson likely slotted for postseason slots.
Still, expect the Braves to be tested down the stretch, as every winning baseball team is.
Braves can’t afford to drop a series to the lowly Nationals
These Nationals — without Max Scherzer and Trea Turner after dealing both to the Dodgers — are absolutely brutal. Come Sept. 7-9, the Braves must take advantage of a team that likely would rather the season be over than play a legitimate playoff team.
Sure, a sweep would be nice, but two out of three is an absolute must, especially as they keep pace with the Phillies, who remain just a slot below them.