Unless some unforeseen catastrophe occurs, the Braves are destined for postseason play in 2012. How long Atlanta's playoff run lasts is totally dependent on which Braves team takes the field during the postseason.
The Braves' offense carried the team during the first half of the season. Now as the second half winds down, it is their pitching that is shouldering most of the load. If the Braves have any hope of bringing home a World Series title, their bats will need to come alive and their pitching must remain dominant.
The main factor in determining which Braves team you will see in this year's playoffs will be their opponents. There are no more cupcake teams. No more games against the Cubs or Astros. It will be a bout between the big boys. Parity and performance will dictate the victor.
But which team will give the Braves their biggest challenge?