4.Atlanta Has Been Preparing For This and Has Unfinished Business
The argument can be made that clinching so early hurt the Braves as much as it helped. They limped into the postseason losing the majority of their games during the final week of the season and simply were coasting into the postseason.
This allowed them the ability to rest starters, get healthy, line up their rotation, and gear up to finish what they started last season.
On the flip side the Cardinals were fighting for their postseason lives during the final month of the season. With seemingly every series making or breaking their postseason chances. That wears on a team and doesn’t allow them the rest or preparation that Atlanta has had over the last two weeks.
While the Cardinals may be a bit sharper in some areas, long-term in this series Atlanta has the advantage. They had time to get healthy, and a healthy Atlanta Braves team is bad news for any club unfortunate enough to face them this postseason.