Atlanta Braves Still Have Plenty to Play For In Season's Final Week

By Josh McKinney
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that the Atlanta Braves clinched the National League East on Sunday, the final week of the 2013 MLB regular season is vitally important to them.

Entering Monday’s game with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Braves hold a 1.5-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in the NL, while the Los Angeles Dodgers are 2.5 games back and the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are each 3.5 games off the pace.

And while the American League earned home-field advantage in the World Series by winning July’s All-Star Game — as ludicrous as that rule is — the Braves can still enjoy home-field advantage in both the NL Division Series and the NL Championship Series by holding off the competition over the next seven games.

“Everybody knows how good we are at home and home-field advantage is huge in the playoffs,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman told Mark Bowman of on Sunday.

The man most fans would refer to as Atlanta’s Most Valuable Player is absolutely right, as the Braves’ 52-22 record at home is the best mark in baseball. Braves Country has been chopping all season long, especially within the confines of Turner Field.

The Braves have been so good at home, in fact, that should they win five of their final seven games, they’ll break their single-season franchise record of 56 home wins, which they did in both 1998 and 2010. Even though those seasons didn’t end with World Series championships, securing home-field advantage is still of great importance, particularly to a team that has been so much better at home than it has on the road, where the Braves are 40-41 this year.

So when the playoffs kick off next week, the Braves better make sure that October is “Choptober.”

Josh McKinney is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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