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Can the Braves Take Down the NL Pennant and Go All the Way?

The Braves reeled off seven consecutive victories at the beginning of September to set the tone for the rest of the month, as they successfully managed to hold off the surging Washington Nationals to clinch their second-straight NL East crown about a week before the end of the regular season. Even though the Nats ended up winning nine out of their last ten games, it still proved to be too little too late after Atlanta created a ton of separation from second place in the division during the months of July and August.

With a final record of 97-65, the Braves finished second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best overall record in the entire National League. With Washington set to battle the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card, Atlanta will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS for the right to play for the NL Pennant.

It appears to be a pretty decent matchup for the Braves, as they managed to win the season series against the Cardinals four games to two. Most books appear to agree with that general sentiment, as Atlanta is currently priced at +300 to win the National League while St. Louis is a pretty big underdog at +650. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers still remain the heavy favorite to punch their ticket to the World Series after yet another 100+ win regular season.

Atlanta Braves Odds to Take the NL Pennant

Still, sitting second overall heading into the beginning of the postseason has really had a big impact on the Braves World Series Odds, as they are available at +800 to win it all. However, it is critical that Atlanta doesn’t get too far ahead of themselves – especially after a disappointing performance in the 2018 NLDS after coming out on top of the NL East that season as well. It is also important to note that the Cardinals were one of the hottest teams in all of Major League Baseball over the closing months of the regular season, going 47-27 over the second half of the year.

Even though the pitching rotations for both Atlanta and St. Louis have yet to be announced, betting markets still have the Braves listed as massive -180 favorites at home in Game 1 of the NLDS on October 3rd, 2019. It appears as if the Braves will likely start veteran southpaw Dallas Keuchel, who finished the regular season with a 3.75 ERA and 91:39 strikeout to walk ratio over 112.2 innings pitched. However, he certainly wasn’t at his best during his last outing, giving up three runs in just four innings of work. Other critical members of the postseason rotation for Atlanta include Mike Foltynewicz and Mike Soroka, who both finished with a record above .500 during the season and really pitched well in several critical games en route to the AL East crown.

Of course, with a berth in the World Series still two full playoff rounds away, it is fairly difficult to see how things are shaping up for the Braves beyond their market price of +800. However, they currently trail only the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees in terms of their overall likelihood to win the World Series outright heading into the NLDS as a heavy favorite.

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