Braves: Dominating divisional opponents once again led to the NL East title

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After the 60-game schedule was released, and it was determined two-thirds of the Braves’ schedule would take place against the NL East, it became more imperative than ever that Atlanta dominate their division rivals. Fortunately, that’s something they have been able to do over the last three years, and it continued this season on their way to a third consecutive NL East title.

In 2018, the Braves won all of their season-series against their division. The only team to put up a fight was the Washington Nationals, and Atlanta still managed to go 10-9 versus them. As far as the rest of the division, the Braves won at least 12 games against all of them, including 14 against the Marlins.

In 2019, four NL East teams finished above .500, and the division produced the eventual World Series champions. That didn’t phase the Braves at all, who posted an almost identical record to their 2018 mark against their division opponents. The Phillies were the only team able to get the better of the Braves over the last two seasons, winning ten of their nineteen matchups last year. The Braves were still able to go 11-8 versus both the Nationals and Mets while continuing to dominate the Fish, winning fifteen of nineteen against them.

For the second time in the last three seasons, the Braves did not lose a single season-series to their division rivals in 2020. The only team that tied them was the Phillies, who managed to win five of the ten matchups. The Braves went 6-4 against both the Marlins and Nationals, and they dominated the Mets, winning seven out of ten.

When you’re in a competitive division like the Braves, 75% of the time, it comes down to how you fare against the people within your division. This year was obviously an outlier. Whoever was going to win the NL East had to beat their rivals, and the Braves proved once again why they are the cream of the crop in their division. Now, they just have to carry that momentum into the postseason for once and win their first playoff series since 2001.

 

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