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MLB Playoffs Rule Changes: Atlanta Braves Playoff Chances Increase

Had Major League Baseball decided to adjust its playoff format before the start of the 2011 season, the Atlanta Braves would have made the post-season, despite their epic struggles down the stretch.

The new rules, announced by the MLB on Friday afternoon, now allows five teams per league into the playoff scenario.

The Braves have young talent both on the mound as well as at the plate and look to be a contender once again in 2012. Since these rules go into effect this season, Atlanta could immediately benefit just in case there is a similar situation to las season.

On Aug. 25, they were 79-53, 10 1/2 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Wild Card berth. From there, Atlanta went 10-20.

"The players are eager to begin playing under this new format in 2012, and they look forward to moving to full realignment in 2013," MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said to the Associated Press.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.