Can the Braves win 100 games?

dkf190430012 padres vs braves

Don’t look now, but the Braves are now 85-54, giving the Dodgers a real chase for the best record in the National League. They are currently 4.5 games behind Los Angeles – two games closer than the Nationals are to taking back control of the NL East. It’s been a magical ride that few people outside of Atlanta expected. I know you remember this.


Or this?

Truthfully, it’s amazingly difficult to understand how so few baseball “experts” picked the Braves to make the playoffs. I realize the rest of the NL East made moves to attempt to become what Atlanta was a year ago but did they completely forget all the Braves had going for them? Their abundance of youth was always on track to improve. Not to mention, they added a former AL MVP, who has easily been the most significant acquisition in the division and possibly the entire National League. Shows what those “experts” know.

After winning 13 of their last 15 with a third of their starting lineup on the IL, the Braves are looking at potentially winning 100 games for the first time since 2003 when they won 101 for the second straight year. They will need to go 15-8 the rest of the way to do so, and considering the division isn’t close to being locked up, the foot should remain on the pedal, or at least for the next two weeks.

The Braves wrap up their two-game set with the Blue Jays tonight before a critical meeting against the Washington Nationals at SunTrust Park. They will play four times through the weekend, and a successful result for the Braves would essentially put a bowtie on the division.

Atlanta then goes on a seven-game road trip where they play the Phillies and then the Nationals again. Once again, if they take care of business; it’s going to be an uneventful ending to the regular season. However, the Nationals have the opportunity in their hands to make the Braves sweat the rest of the way.

If I was going to give a prediction for the next two weeks; I’d say the Braves complete the sweep tonight against the Blue Jays, split with the Nationals (which is a win for the Braves), take four out of seven from the Phillies, and then end their road trip with a series win and NL East clincher in Washington. That would make them 9-6 over their next 15 games with eight games remaining.

The Braves wrap up their season with the Giants, Royals, and Mets – all winnable series. Atlanta took two of three over the Giants in San Francisco earlier this year. They were actually swept in a two-game set against the Royals at home; however, that is unlikely to repeat itself. And of course, Atlanta has owned the Mets all season. If my prediction above proves true; they would need to win six of their final eight games to reach 100. Against these teams, it’s doable, but it won’t be the Braves priority if they have already wrapped up the NL East.

Winning 100 games is a nice chip to talk about at the end of the season, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the final game of the postseason. The last two times the Braves won 100 games they lost in the NLDS 3-2. Atlanta’s priorities are finishing off the Nationals and getting this team back to full strength. If the 100-win mark comes in the process – fantastic – but this team has too much talent not to have their eyes on a much bigger prize.

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