Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
By: John Wickham
The Braves have pretty much locked down the NL East and should be the champs unless another epic September collapse happens and the Washington Nationals go on a historic run. One of these is possible even though highly unlikely. Both though, nearly impossible. Their magic number is 7. Which means any combination of Braves wins and National losses equaling 7 allows them to open up the champagne and celebrate the division title.

The Braves should be moving their focus on home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs, where they are a ML-best 51-20. The Braves hold a 2-game lead on both the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals and the NL West leading Dodgers. It actually is a 3-game lead because they hold the tie breaker by winning the season series against both clubs.

In the last few weeks you can see how the Braves with such a large lead have been preparing their postseason roster. They have given their young pitchers, Minor and Teheran some breathers by skipping their spot in the rotation. They have also given some of their bench players playing time to keep them prepared for pinch-hit duty.

The Braves are in a fine position. They hold a large lead but are still have their eye on the prize by fighting for home-field advantage.