The National League East was arguably the wildest division in baseball in 2021.
Until the day the Atlanta Braves finally clinched, it was anyone’s guess as to which team was going to come out on top.
In the end, the Braves needed just 88 wins to clinch the division title.
A lot of folks thought that Atlanta was going to struggle in the postseason after spending the entire regular season in a historically bad division.
Going into the playoffs, there were two common arguments in that regard:
- Argument A: “The Braves are a product of their division and are not actually a playoff-caliber team”
- Argument B: “The Braves might be a playoff-caliber team, but they’re going to have a hard time competing in the postseason since they aren’t battle-tested”
Well, the Braves are now in the World Series.
The pennant-winning out. pic.twitter.com/dmT0whkPBG
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) October 24, 2021
They have silenced the naysayers.
The weak nature of the NL East did not end up hurting Atlanta in 2021.
There’s 1 Big Reason Why The Braves Shouldn’t Have Been Counted Out Entering The Postseason
Elite starting pitching is arguably the biggest key to success in the postseason.
If you don’t have reliable starters, you aren’t going to get very far.
During the regular season, Atlanta’s rotation was great, ranking eighth in MLB in ERA.
This is where more folks should have seen Atlanta’s run coming.
When a team has a three-headed rotation monster like the Braves do, that type of club is always a threat to make a playoff run.
The reasoning is pretty simple: In the playoffs, you can roll with a three-man or four-man rotation.
That’s what the Braves have been able to do in the postseason, and it has worked out to perfection.
Morton, Fried, and Anderson have each made three starts.
The trio has started every game but one for the Braves in these playoffs.
Here are each of their ERAs this postseason:
- Morton: 3.77 ERA
- Fried: 3.78 ERA
- Anderson: 2.25 ERA
On the backs of those three starters, the team has registered an overall ERA of 3.41 in the 2021 postseason.
Braves pitching has given the club a chance to win virtually every game.
Braves pitching 🔥🔥
— Alec (@_alecrodriguez) October 24, 2021
That’s one of the biggest reasons Atlanta has gotten this far.
Atlanta Is 4 Wins Away From Immortality
It has been far too long since the Braves last celebrated a World Series title.
The organization just clinched its first NL pennant since 1999, and it’s looking for its first World Series championship since 1995.
Atlanta is just four wins away from getting there.
Obviously, a tall task lies ahead in the Houston Astros.
But if Braves starting pitching continues to dominate, then Atlanta will have a very real chance at knocking off Houston.
Maybe that’s easier said than done, but it seems like a legit possibility.
The series is set to begin Tuesday.
Braves fans are certainly counting the days.
Only time will tell if Atlanta will finish its Cinderella run in unforgettable fashion.