There's not much for the Atlanta Braves to chase as the 2023 comes to a close.
Playoffs clinched? Easily. The NL East race? Very over. Ronald Acuña Jr.'s spot in the 40/40 club? Secured.
All that is locked up, but the games still matter as we enter the final week of the regular season. The Braves are still fending off the Dodgers and Orioles, as the fight continues for home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs and World Series, respectively. Atlanta will close out the regular season with six in a row at home, beginning on Tuesday night with the visiting Chicago Cubs.
What to watch for in Tuesday's game
Elder gets his groove back
After a first half that led to an all-star appearance, the regression monster has devoured Bryce Elder over the last couple of months.
In 12 starts in the second half, Elder has an ERA of 4.71, with just one scoreless appearance under his belt. He's allowed eight earned runs in his last two starts while allowing opposing hitters to tee off with a .333 average in that span.
With Charlie Morton and Max Fried currently on the shelf at least till the postseason, a strong Elder start against the Cubs would go a long way for confidence in the pitching staff heading into October.
While solidifying his status as MVP front-runner, Ronald Acuña Jr. is still chasing history as the regular season comes to a close.
Atlanta's superstar right fielder has already gotten his membership jacket for the 40/40 club but is on the cusp of becoming the sole member of another exclusive group. He's sitting at 68 steals with just six games to go.
With two steals, Acuña will be the founding member of the 40/70 club, and further write his name in MLB history. Expect Ronald to be active on the basepaths before the playoffs begin.
First pitch for Atlanta and Chicago kicks off at 7:20 p.m. ET on Bally Sports South and TBS.