This article has been published on the My Team Rival's Blog, "Tomahawk Talk."
The Braves finished a sweep of the New York Mets Wednesday evening ending the night only four games behind the NL Wild-Card leader, Colorado Rockies. Thursday was an off night for Bobby Cox and his Atlanta Braves, but late Thursday night, they gained another half game as the Padres took care of the Rockies.
Ten games will decide the Brave's hopes for a playoff berth. While the Colorado Rockies control their own destiny with a still significant lead in the wild-card race, the Braves sure could help their chances by winning out. Call me crazy, but the way the Braves have played recently...I wouldn't rule out such a thing.
The Braves will end the season with three games against the slumping Marlins and seven games against the league's worst team, the Washington Nationals. This would be a definite advantage for the Braves. The Braves just need to find a way to beat those Marlins...something that hasn't been easy this season.
Thankfully for the Braves, the Rockies have a difficult nine-game stretch ahead of them. They have three games three solid clubs: the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the LA Dodgers. While the Brewers are a sub-.500 team in 2009, I don't consider them to be a push over. The hardest part will be overcoming the LA Dodgers (92-61) and the St. Louis Cardinals (89-64).
Schedule wise, the Braves may have enough to catch the Rockies. I think to catch the Rockies, the Braves would have to win nine of their final ten games to force a playoff game. I would project the Rockies to go 5-4 over their final nine games given the difficulty of their schedule.
If the Braves were to make the playoffs by some stretch of the imagination...I think they could potentially win a World Series. My reason? Typically, the hottest team going into the playoffs wins it all. If the Braves make it, they would certainly be that team.