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The Braves are just a few days away from winning their second straight division title. No one predicted they would do this, and do it this easily, so it’s going to be tremendous when it happens. Everyone will expect more than last year, when the Braves lost in the first round of the playoffs. Losing is always tough, but it was such a surprise last year that most fans were just glad they made it. Now, it’ll be a different story. This team might win 100 games this season, so even though the Dodgers will likely finish with a better record, the Braves will – at the least – be expected to win the first round series. How can the Braves win in October? Well, the part of the team that has improved the most over the past two months is the starting rotation. The rotation ERA in the last month is 2.76 – second-best in baseball behind the Cardinals. And that’s the team the Braves are in line to play in the first round of the playoffs. It could be interesting, especially if the Atlanta starting pitchers are still doing well. It’s going to be tough to decide the rotation of the starters in the first round. Dallas Keuchel, Mike Soroka and Max Fried are likely locks to pitch the first three games. They could just go with three starters in the best-of-five first round series and put Julio Teheran and Mike Foltynewicz in the bullpen. But Foltynewicz is pushing for a spot in that rotation. He’s done very well as of late, with a 1.91 ERA in his last five starts. Teheran has a 1.08 ERA in his last four starts. So, the Braves will have some tough decisions. All five of their starters are really doing well. Dallas Keuchel’s ERA in his last five games is below one. Fried had a little rough start Tuesday, but he really settled down after giving up four early runs. And Soroka has been great all season long. Remember the Braves history. This organization had great success with starting pitchers. In 1995, the Braves won the World Series the year they played a team with a great offense – the Cleveland Indians. The Indians had Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome, Eddie Murray, Albert Belle and Carlos Baerga. But the Braves – with three future Hall of Fame starting pitchers in the rotation, shut them down. And if the Braves are to do anything special this October, the starting pitchers must be the story. Good pitching beats good hitting all the time, and while the Braves lineup can be outstanding, it will face better pitchers in the playoffs – making the Braves starting pitchers very important. If they keep up what they’ve been doing, they’ll be fine, and that’s what might allow the Braves even deeper into October than they did a year ago.