Brian Snitker: “We’re planning on winning the (NL) East”

MLB: MAY 30 Nationals at Braves

Facing an eight game deficit in the NL East along with a plethora of injuries, it would be normal for most teams to starting thinking about the Wild Card race, but the Braves aren’t most teams.

When asked whether his club might prefer staying fresh and competing in a Wild Card series rather than taking a week off due to a first round bye, Braves manager Brian Snitker was having none of it.

“I’m not planning on doing a Wild Card series,” Brian Snitker said. “We’re planning on winning the (NL) East.”

Based on what we’ve seen this year, there’s no reason to believe the Braves can catch the Phillies in the division. They have been miserable offensively and are decimated by injuries, so it’s fair for the fans and media to begin pondering the alternatives.

Since the playoffs expanded, the Wild Card series has been the place to be, particularly in the National League. The Braves and Dodgers have been awarded first-round byes to the NLDS in each of the last two seasons, and they’ve combined to win just three games total.

There are legitimate concerns that exist when talking about baseball teams and extended rest. From an offensive perspective, rhythm is such a massive part of success. When a team doesn’t play for five days, finding that rhythm can be difficult immediately, and in a five game series, that can prove to be the nail in the coffin.

With that being said, no player or manager can have that mindset. The Braves goal, as it is every season, is to win the division. They’ve been better at doing that than any other organization in the sport over the last 30+ years. That’s not going to change anytime soon.

This is a team that still has lofty goals this season, even with all of the adversity they’ve faced. In just the last three years, the Braves have overcome devastating injuries and won the World Series. They’ve also overcome a 10.5 game hole in the division and went on to win the NL East. Why can’t they do both in 2024?

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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