While the Philadelphia Eagles get set to take on the Dallas Cowboys Monday night, the Phillies have a day off in the City of Atlanta.  Tomorrow, they will begin a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.  How this series goes very well could determine the fate of the 2021 Phillies.

The good news is that the Phillies will not have a losing season.  Should the Phillies lose their six remaining games, they will be a .500 team.  If they win the six remaining games, they will at the least tie the division and face the Braves in a one-game playoff.

Here is a rundown of how the Phillies' chances are, based upon the performance of the Phillies versus the Braves this week.

Scenario 1: Phillies Sweep the Atlanta Braves

This would be the ideal thing to happen for the Phillies.  However, a simple sweep would not be enough for the Phillies.  Sitting 2.5 games behind the Braves with six to play, the Phillies could temporarily take first place with a sweep; a sweep puts the Phillies .5 games ahead of the Braves, but the Braves have an extra game to play.

So essentially, the Phillies would have to do better in their series against the Marlins than the Braves in their series against the Mets.

The Phillies have struggled in Miami; they are 3-4 on the season so far.  The Phillies would have to almost sweep the Marlins, but that still would not guarantee a playoff spot.   They would need to do so with a bullpen game instead of one with a starting pitcher.

Meanwhile, the Braves face a Mets team eliminated from playoff contention.  Would they be that motivated for a moral victory over the Braves and put all their effort into knocking them out of the playoffs?

If, after sweeping the Braves, the Phillies went 2-1 against the Marlins, the Braves would have to go 1-2 against the Mets to determine the division then.

If, after the final series, if the Braves are .5 games behind the Phillies or ahead of the Phillies, the Braves would have to host Colorado at home where they already are.  Then, if the Phillies and Braves are tied, they would have to play a game 163 for the division title.

Scenario 2: Phillies Take Two of Three in Atlanta

A series win sounds good, right?  The unfortunate thing, however, is that the Phillies would pick up just one game and leave the Phillies 1.5 games behind.   Or think of it this way: the Phillies would be two games behind in the loss column.  The Phillies would have to make those games up in their final three games while the Braves play as many as four.

If the Braves sweep the Mets, the Rockies game does not likely happen because the Braves will have won the division.

If the Braves go 2-1 against the Mets, the Phillies would only make up one game with a sweep of the Marlins, leaving the Phillies .5 games back.  The Braves would then have to play the Rockies.

If the Braves win that game, the Braves win the division.  If the Braves lose that game, the Braves and Phillies would have a one-game playoff.

If the Phillies swept the Marlins and the Braves were swept by the Mets, the Phillies would win the division.

Scenario 3: Phillies Lose Two of Three in Atlanta

That would put the Phillies 3.5 games out of first place with three games left.  The Phillies would have to then sweep the Marlins.  The Mets would have to sweep the Braves in the three-game series, and the Braves would have to lose the makeup game against the Colorado Rockies.

The Phillies and Braves would have to play a one-game playoff for the division title.

Scenario 4: The Phillies are Swept by the Braves

That's it.  The Phillies miss the playoffs, and the Braves win the division.

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