Yes, the magic number to clinch a playoff berth is only seven. However, a team with a 90-45 record has their sites set on something bigger. Atlanta will be looking to win their sixth straight NL East title and eventually be working towards home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Atlanta Braves won their sixth straight game on Saturday night and third straight against the Dodgers. Earlier in the night, the Phillies had lost their second consecutive game to the Brewers. As a result of these outcomes, the Braves now have a magic number of 12 to win the NL East. This number is currently worn by first-year Braves player, Sean Murphy.
Murphy has been an incredible addition to this Braves team. In return, Atlanta has been a nice fit for him personally. Murphy currently has a career-high for a single season in batting average (.268), home runs (20), and RBIs (67). These numbers still have a chance to climb even higher as there is still roughly a full month left in the regular season.
In addition to being more than productive behind the plate, he has been just as effective behind it. Murphy has a .989 fielding percentage and has thrown out 16 runners attempting to steal.
While that may not seem like much, the rules MLB implemented this season (bigger bases and pitch clock), have made it near impossible to catch good base stealers.
One of the biggest reasons Atlanta has been such a good fit for Murphy is the amount of playing time he is getting. Catchers can easily be overused and worn down quickly over the course of a 162-game season.
With the Braves, Murphy can get the majority of the playing time and have a chance to make an impact but can turn the job over to Travis d'Arnaud on any given day and the team won't miss a beat.
The Braves will go for an impressive four-game sweep of the Dodgers in L.A. at 4:10 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Phillies will be looking to avoid a sweep. A Braves win paired with a Phillies loss continues to be the best-case scenario for Atlanta.