Atlanta Braves at the Quarter Pole: projecting the rest of the season

The Atlanta Braves are hoping and praying to reach the 2021 playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Braves are hoping and praying to reach the 2021 playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Braves
Could the Atlanta Braves end up in a photo finish for the NL East crown?07312021 Horse Racing Montana State Fair G /

Later this week, MLB teams will have 1/4th of their season remaining.  Here’s a guess as to how the Atlanta Braves and their rivals will finish.

Between April 1st and August 14th, the Atlanta Braves had to endure the doubts and naysayers as their season has truly been a struggle.  But the evening of August 15th found them alone in first place for the first time.

But now, can they hold it?

We now have less than 7 weeks remaining until the regular season ends, and the betting here is that it could come down to the last weekend before the NL East — and the second Wild Card position — is decided.

Let’s see how things break down between the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Padres, Reds, and … yes, even the Cardinals.

Let’s start with the easier calls… with one surprise.


If the Phillies are still in the race (they clearly are for multiple reasons), then we can’t leave out the Cardinals.  As of this writing, they are a surprisingly small 4 games back in the race for the last Wild Card position.

That may be as close as they get, though.

Counting last night, St. Louis still has thirteen games remaining with Milwaukee.  That helps greatly if you believe they can carve into the Brewers’ 10 game Central Division lead.  I don’t subscribe to that newsletter.

The Cards had won 6 straight games (and 8 of 9), but all of these were against Kansas City and Pittsburgh.  They are 5 games over .500, but that’s a mirage… and Milwaukee got them last night.

Face it:  even with Jack Flaherty back, their pitching is — at best — fragile.  The Brewers will eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… probably winning at least 8 of those head-to-head games.

Sorry, Cardinal fans.


Oh, how the mighty have fallen… it’s almost as if you could take the standings from roughly three weeks ago and swap the names “Braves” and “Mets”.

New York had been holding onto first place via smoke and mirrors for months, but the lack of a consistent offense (especially at home) and a renewed spate of injuries to their best players has finally put a dagger to a team in free fall.

Oh, and they are in the midst of 4 consecutive sets of games against the Giants and Dodgers. The results so far?  0-5.

It doesn’t get any better for them, either:  they still will have to face the Yankees, Red Sox, and Milwaukee in addition to all of their NL East rivals.

Frankly, while Jacob deGrom has been trying to rest his injured arm with the hope of returning this season, he should consider whether surgery is vital to getting him back on the mound at any point… and get it done now if that’s the case.

His decision to wait things out might only delay both the inevitable and the impractical.  His team might not be able to do any better during the rest of 2021 — with or without him.