Way back in April the reigning Major League Baseball World Series Champion Atlanta Braves announced a new addition to their winning roster: Kill Cliff!
The Braves banished the previous energy drink brand from the stadium and introduced Kill Cliff's Ignite to the kiosks, bars, restaurants, and strolling beverage salesfolks.
It looks like it was a good idea! The Braves' season continues this weekend, with the Braves coming back to Kill Cliff Stadium—er, Truist Park—for another bout with the incorrigible Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves hope to advance to the next round of do-or-die games against the winner of the West, either the San Diego Padres or the Los Angeles Dodgers. After that it's back to the World Series where they are entirely comfortable, obviously.
HOW THEY GOT THERE
The resurgent New York Mets came off a terrible 2021 campaign to take the NL East Division lead early and often. There were times when the Braves were so many games in the negative that it looked like it was a hole that could never be climbed out of.
Indeed, the Mets were in first place early, first place in the middle, and first place near the end when suddenly...the Braves took first place not once but twice in September. Even after winning 101 games (!), they had to settle for a Wild Card play-in while the Braves, fueled on fresh Kill Cliff remember, surged to the top of the standings with an identical 101-wins year.
Ronald Acuña Jr. is on the squad, whereas he was not this time last year. SS Dansby Swanson is leading the charge at the plate, instead of playing second fiddle to Austin Riley and fellow sluggers, and first-time All-Star LHP Max Fried is fearless on the mound, setting the pace for the rest of the very reliable bullpen.
KILL CLIFF PREDICTS
The 87-win Phillies finished 14 games behind the Braves and Mets in the regular season. Their playoff appearance is an aberration attributed to MLB's expanded post-season schedule. The Phillies will be exposed this weekend and playing golf weeks before Halloween.
The Phillies move on, probably against the Dodgers. Yeah, the Dodgers.