Champs of the east: Braves claim 3rd straight NL East division crown

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are heading back to the playoffs. The team won its third straight National League East Division title Tuesday night.

The Braves' 11-1 win over the Marlins coupled with a Phillies' double-header loss to Nationals clinched the division. Atlanta joins the Rays, Yankees, White Sox, Twins, Athletics, Dodgers and Padres as teams that have booked playoff spots.

The Braves' 20 division titles passed the Yankees for the most in Major League Baseball history.

The Braves offense couldn’t stop cooking Tuesday night at Truist Park. Marcell Ozuna had two home runs and five RBIs on the night. Atlanta overall saw home runs from Ozuna, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and MVP candidate Freddie Freeman.

But Atlanta wouldn’t have sealed the deal without a pitching gem from starter Bryse Wilson. Wilson had the best outing of his career with a career-high seven strikeouts over five shutout innings.

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Major League Baseball expanded the playoffs this season to 16 teams, eight from each league.

With a few division and wild card races still undecided, the Braves may not know their playoffs opponent until the regular season finale Sunday.

The MLB standings updated late Tuesday moved Atlanta from the No. 3 seed to the No. 2 seed, ahead of the Chicago Cubs. The Braves would face No. 7 seed Cincinnati Reds if the games started tomorrow.

The NL Wild Card series starts next Wednesday and run through Friday at the each of the higher seed’s ballparks. The NLDS and NLCS and World Series will be at neutral sites.

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