10 Advantages the Atlanta Braves Hold over the Washington Nationals

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10 Advantages the Atlanta Braves Hold over the Washington Nationals
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

When the Washington Nationals ran their National League East lead to 6.5 games up on the Atlanta Braves, I lost a lot of hope that Atlanta could make a run and take the division.

With Dan Uggla not hitting (He's walking enough to own a .341 OBP, which is perplexing, but his average remains a lowly .206.), Brian McCann's shoulder seemingly negating his ability to drive the ball (zero extra-base hits in his 60 August at-bats), Ben Sheets headed back to the DL and Andrelton Simmons recovering more slowly than the Braves had hoped, I am not ashamed to admit that I was already debating who should take the hill for the Braves for the one-game playoff with the other NL Wild Card.

Three games later, as of August 28, Atlanta has reached five games back.  While it may be small, there is still hope that the Braves can climb back into the divisional hunt and avoid the dreaded one-game playoff against the Cardinals, Pirates, Giants, or Dodgers.

However, regardless of which team wins the division, odds are that, so long as they both advance past the Wild Card Showdown, Atlanta and Washington will have to meet in the postseason eventually, whether it be in the five-game NLDS or the seven-game NLCS.  

This isn't exactly a comforting feeling for Atlanta fans. The Braves have the pitching to out-duel the Dodgers and the firepower to slug with Cincinnati, but the perception is that Washington seems to have an edge on Atlanta in essentially every category.

Au contraire...

 

Note: Each statistic in this slideshow save for the standings is as it stood on August 27.

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