by Leslie Mines III
CHATTANOOGA, TN (mocsnews.com) — The NL East leading Atlanta Braves went into Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia with the chance to win their sixth consecutive National League Eastern Division championship and they would go on to do just that. Atlanta came in scorching hot as the best team in Major League Baseball since Opening Day.
(Atlanta Braves players celebrate in the locker room after clinching their sixth consecutive division title in Philly)
(Top: Ronald Acuña Jr., Marcell Ozuna, Ozzie Albies, Raisel Iglesias, and Orlando Arcia. Bottom: Eddie Rosario and Joe Jimenez.)
The Braves were in Philly facing their division rival Philadelphia Phillies in a 4-game series. Both teams split a doubleheader for games 1 & 2, while the Braves would take games 3 & 4 to win the series and win their sixth consecutive division title. The 2023 NL East crown is the Braves’ 23rd division title, which is the record for the most division championships in Major League Baseball history.
September 14th is the earliest the Atlanta Braves have clinched a division crown since 1995, when they brought a World Series crown to Atlanta for the first time ever. The 2023 Atlanta Braves are looking to repeat history by bringing another World Series to Braves Country with the 2023 MLB postseason beginning on October 7th. However, if Atlanta finishes the regular season with the best record they’ll win home field advantage throughout the entirety of the postseason.
The 2023 MLB season has been an historic one for the Atlanta Braves as they’re currently on pace to break the Major League record for most home runs by a team in a single-season, which is currently held by the 2019 Minnesota Twins, who hit 307 that season. Also, Atlanta has multiple NL MVP candidates with Ronald Acuña Jr. boasting the best season of his young career by becoming the 1st player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs and steal 60 bases in a season. “La Bestia” has been on fire with the bat for the entirety of the season as he’s currently slashing .337/.418/.586/1.004 with a 7.4 fWAR which ranks at the top for qualified hitters in 2023.
(Atlanta Braves Right Fielder and NL MVP Frontrunner Ronald Acuña Jr.)
Atlanta’s other MVP front-runner is All-Star First Baseman Matt Olson, who tied Andruw Jones for the single-season franchise record in home runs by hitting his 51st during the clinching series against Philly. Olson would officially overtake the record on September 16th by hitting his 52nd home run in a loss to the Miami Marlins.
While history has been made night after night for the Atlanta Braves, there’s a bigger goal at hand. Clinching the division is step 1 in route to winning the fifth World Series title in franchise history and ultimately capping off one of the greatest seasons in the history of Major League Baseball.