The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves are not rivals, plain and simple. With relatively no history between them and with the Braves’ lack of postseason success in the past decade, the notion is silly. Let’s put it to bed.
Just because two teams may be somewhat separate from the rest of the pack in terms of talent, it does not make them a rivarly. The only rivals the Dodgers have are the team from the Bay Area. If you want to stretch it to a historical standpoint, you may also be able to include the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. No, the Angels-Dodgers ‘rivalry’ is not a rivalry at all as much as the media may want you to think it is.
When asked about how it felt to beat the ‘rival’ Atlanta Braves, infielder Max Muncy had the best answer possible:
Muncy's best answer, though, was to a local writer who asked how important it was for the #Dodgers to beat "their rival" the Braves:
"What makes them our rival?"
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 17, 2019
What would make them our rivals? Nothing at all.
The Atlanta Braves currently sit at a fantastic 72-52 record and the Dodgers hold an 82-42 record. Ten games of separation between the league’s best and second best teams is a wide gap.
While the Dodgers could very well play the Atlanta Braves in the playoffs — more likely than not in the NLCS if at all — both teams being good means absolutely nothing to a rivalry. They are not the same thing.
Now that I think about it, how are those guys up in the Bay Area doing this season?