With two series remaining in the regular season, the Braves lead the race by only two games.
The final playoff spot appears to be open to either team.
However, there are a few reasons why the Braves seem to already have the wild card locked up, which will be explained by the following slides.
Overall, the Braves' situation appears to be quite positive.
They are leading their competition by two games with only six games remaining in the season.
The Braves' magic number is five, which doesn't give the Cardinals any room to slip up.
Because both teams' remaining competition is relatively noncompetitive, neither is likely to lose more than one or two games.
And even if the Cardinals manage to go 5-1 in the final stretch, the Braves would have to go 2-4 in order to get eliminated.
Although the Braves aren't playing nearly as well as they were earlier in the season, this outcome seems very unlikely, and gives the Braves a good chance to make the playoffs.
Luckily for the Braves, their competition will not be tough in the remaining six games of the season.
Even though the Nationals are playing well at the moment, they are still one of the worst offensive teams in baseball with below-average pitching.
The Braves' above-average pitching staff should be able to hold back the Nationals, and the Braves should manage to take at least two games from this series.
Against their other opponent, the Phillies, the Braves are 6-9 this season, and have struggled against them earlier this season.
However, this approaching series should be a completely different story.
First of all, ever since the Phillies clinched the division, they have been slumping, and are 1-7 in that time.
Also, the Phillies will want to rest their starters, partly because it will be the final series before the playoffs, but also because they would surely prefer to play the inexperienced Diamondbacks in the playoffs than the streaking Cardinals.
While the Braves' offense this month hasn't been overly impressive, certain parts of it have been great.
The players most important to the Braves team have been hitting better than ever in September, which is just what they need.
Chipper Jones is having possibly his best month of the season, hitting .304 with three home runs and nine RBI.
Alex Gonzalez is leading the Braves' offense this month, hitting .368.
It is the production of these veterans that is extremely important to the Braves.
Also, Jason Heyward, who has been performing poorly all season, is finally looking up, hitting .264 with a .403 OBP in the month of September.
With Heyward performing this well, the Braves have the ability to score many more runs, as Heyward has achieved many key hits in the past.
Due to such a large amount of injuries, the Braves' starting pitching staff hasn't been performing nearly as well as it was halfway through the season.
Their injuries have led the Braves to a starting pitching rotation consisting mainly of rookies.
As well as these rookies have performed, they cannot manage more than five or so innings each game.
Luckily, the Braves happen to have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Aside from Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, and Jonny Venters, three of the MLB's best relievers, the Braves' bullpen is stacked with great pitchers.
Anthony Varvaro and Christian Martinez have been very impressive recently, and have given relief to the aforementioned trio.
These relievers are extremely important to the Braves' playoff race, as they could not have managed nearly as many wins without this bullpen.
Even though the Braves' starting pitching hasn't been nearly as impressive lately, their remaining lineup of starting pitchers does appear formidable.
Tim Hudson is scheduled to have two more starts, which likely means two more wins for the Braves.
Brandon Beachy starts tomorrow, which should be beneficial as well to the Braves.
Also, Randall Delgado, who has pitched great recently, will start a game and hopefully bring about a win.
Something else that should give hope to Braves supporters is that Derek Lowe only has one more start for the season.
For these reasons, if all goes well, which it should, the Braves will be in the postseason in less than a week.