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Atlanta Braves Predictions Futures | 2014 Season Betting Preview

2014 MLB Team Previews – Braves

Philadelphia had a solid run in the NL East a few seasons back and Washington won the title in 2012, but the Atlanta Braves have pretty much owned this division since 1991 with 17 postseason appearances over the span of 23 years.

They won the NL East last season with an overall record of 96-66, but lost to the Dodgers 3-1 in the NLDS. This followed a loss in the Wildcard Round in 2012 after going 94-68.

All of this success simply tells me that the Braves will once again be a major factor in this season’s division title race in what should be a two-team sprint with the Nationals all the way to the finish line.

Sportsbook’s Odds to Win

  • NL East +100
  • National League +1000
  • World Series +1800
  • Regular Season Wins 87.5

Key Additions/Departures

The Braves spent much of the offseason trying to keep last year’s roster intact with a wealth of talent by working out new deals with first baseman Freddie Freeman, outfielder Jason Heyward and short stop Andrelton Simmons as well as starting pitcher Julio Teheran and closer Craig Kimbrel.

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They did lose catcher Brian McCann, who signed with the Yankees . Pitcher Kris Medlen was lost for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and pitcher Branden Beachy will also miss the regular season as well with a second scheduled Tommy John surgery in his career.

Projected Starting Lineup

  • Jason Heyward (RF)
  • Justin Upton (LF)
  • Freddie Freeman (1B)
  • Evan Gattis (C)
  • Chris Johnson (3B)
  • Andrelton Simmons (SS)
  • Dan Uggla (2B)
  • BJ Upton (CF)

This lineup has the talent to be one of the best in the National League as long as the bigger bats can live up to expectations. Atlanta is counting heavily on a better performance from Heyward in the lead-off position after missing 58 games last year due to injuries.

Bovada

It will also need better consistency from Justin Upton than he showed last season. The Braves also have to hope that Uggla still has something left in the tank after watching his numbers drop off a cliff in 2013.

Projected Starting Rotation

  • Julio Teheran
  • Alex Wood
  • David Hale
  • Gus Schlosser
  • Ervin Santana

This entire rotation has been turned upside down with the injuries to Medlen and Beachy. Mike Minor will start the regular season on the DL while recovering from minor surgery and the Braves decided to part ways with Freddy Garcia despite the shortage of solid arms.

This could end being a major stumbling block to a return to the top of the NL East, especially if Minor struggles upon his return in early May.

Bullpen/Closer

This unit could come under major fire early in the season if Atlanta’s starting rotation decided to implode. With so many question marks throughout the entire pitching staff, this area could suddenly become a major team weakness as opposed to the team strength it was last season with an ERA of 3.18 that was tops in the NL

2014 Atlanta Braves Prediction:

Even if the Braves’ pitching holds up, I see the team taking a slight step backwards in 2014. They need too many things to go right and they cannot afford anything else to go wrong with their starting rotation. Atlanta will still battle the Nationals to the bitter end for the NL East crown, but a return to the playoffs this season will have to come via the wildcard route.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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