by Intern Matthew Weitz
ATLANTA – Yesterday, the Braves welcomed the Pittsburgh Pirates to Suntrust Park for a four-game series. This series is immediately followed by three home games with the division leading Phillies, and three additional games with the Mets.
Currently the Braves trail the Philadelphia Phillies by just one game in the NL East standings. Though the Braves play the Pirates before they get a crack at the Phillies, if they can take at least three out of four off of Pittsburgh, and sweep the Phillies, that could be enough to take first place in the division.
Taking first place from the Phillies would be of huge importance for the Braves. Currently the Braves are one and a half games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card standings, holding the second Wild Card spot. Though there will be plenty of baseball left after the home stand ends, being forced to play a single elimination Wild Card game is not ideal.
The Braves third opponent of the home stand, the New York Mets, are five games behind the Phillies and four games behind the Braves at third place in the NL East. Taking home-field advantage against the Mets would push the Mets further back in the division, technically making the NL East a two-horse race.
The Braves can feed off of the energy of Suntrust Park and make the NL East their division to lose. Suntrust Park is likely to be electric, so buy your tickets now and help carry the Braves to first place.