McKinney: Quick Hitter

Aug. 21, 2013 @ 09:37 PM

Talk about a tale of two divisions.

When the Atlanta Braves visit St. Louis to battle the Cardinals in a key four-game series beginning tonight, the stakes could not be more different.

Tonight’s game starts at 8:15 and will be televised by SportSouth. Friday’s 8:15 p.m. contest will be televised by Fox Sports South (FSN), as will Saturday’s 7:15 tilt and Sunday’s 2:15 p.m. series finale.

The Braves are on cruise control atop the weak National League East. Unless Atlanta decides to leave the Senior Circuit and join a league in Japan, the NL East crown appears secure.

As for the Cards, they’re locked in a titanic three-team NL Central race with the powerful Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three of those teams punch their playoff tickets.

The fight to determine who wins the division and who takes the wild cards figures to remain heated until the end of the regular season.

I’m sure the Braves would like to send a message to the Redbirds with a successful visit to Busch Stadium.

St. Louis hopes to defend home turf and boost its postseason stock.

All this makes for a late-August four-game set.

— Mark McKinney