2018 Atlanta Braves (Tomahawk Take)
THE BRAVES WIN! THE BRAVES WIN! THE BRAVES WIN!!!
The Atlanta Braves overcame all odds and clinched the NL East with seven games to go in the 2018 season. With the postseason only a week away, we want to know Braves fans, who would you like to play in the first round of the NLDS? This may sound silly, but would you rather play at home or away first? I only ask because as of Monday, Atlanta owns the best road record in the NL with a 45-30 record. They are sitting at an improved 43-38 at home, thanks to a 4 game sweep against Philly. Lets take a look at our possible opponents for the NLDS:
Dodgers, Rockies, Brewers
The reason we will talk about these three are because we will assume the Cubs take care of the Pirates and lock up their NL Central division. The Braves will be battling the Mets and Phillies to end the season, while seeing Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and possibly Aaron Nola again.
This is probably the team that Braves fans want to see least. Why? Atlanta went 2-5 against the Dodgers this year, they have all the pieces lined up to contend, and well…they are the Dodgers. It would be tough to travel from Atlanta all the way to LA to face such a well rounded team that now consists of Manny Machado in the heart of their lineup.
This is a homerun hitting team, and one problem Atlanta has had in LA has been giving up homers. This is probably a series Atlanta would want home-field for. The Braves could take both games at home then they would only need to take one of two in LA.
This would be an interesting series for sure, and the winner of this series would most likely have the chance to play the Brewers or Cubs to go to the World Series.
That’s right, the Colorado Rockies could still win the NL West this season, sitting only one game behind the LA Dodgers. They only have the Phillies and Nationals left to play. This is the team I would love to see the Braves play in the NLDS. Yes they went 2-5 against the Rockies this season including a 3 game sweep in August, however Atlanta was coming off a double header against Miami and a tough series against the Brewers right before playing the Rockies. Colorado, like the Dodgers have a well rounded team. They might not have the pitching that LA has, but they definitely have the hitters. Their lineup was built to maximize the power potential of Coors Field.
I believe playing the Rockies in the NLDS would be a big break for the Braves and it’s the perfect series to get them ready for the NLCS. They would get the chance to show they belong in the playoffs. Now I’m not saying Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Ian Desmond, and Charlie Blackmon are not guys to worry about. They are some of the best in the majors, but I believe Atlanta can hit around their pitching for sure and take advantage of playing in Colorado’s ballpark.
Milwaukee is an interesting team entering the playoffs. Like Atlanta, they won’t have much playoff experience. Assuming the Cubs win the division, the Brewers would get the first wildcard spot. However, if the Braves pass the Cubs for the number 1 seed, they will most likely play the Brewers if they win their home, single-elimination wildcard game. The Brewers have been shockingly good since the season started off and different guys each night are helping them win games, lead by MVP candidate Christian Yelich.
Atlanta only had a 3-4 record against the Brew Crew this season, nothing to be too upset about. If Atlanta does get the chance to clinch the #1 seed in the NL, the Brewers will be their opponent. I would love to see this matchup because I believe both teams compare great as far as hitting, pitching, and age are concerned.
With all that being said Braves fans, who would you like to see the Bravos play in the NLDS? How do you feel about playing with home field advantage for the first round as well? This will be a very memorable postseason for Atlanta with many more to come! Chop On!