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Atlanta Braves Season Predictions | 2012 Season Betting Preview

2012 MLB Handicapping: Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves were in prime position to lock-up their second-straight wildcard playoff berth in the National League last season, but a complete collapse down the stretch paved the way for St. Louis’s amazing run to a World Series title.

MLB Team Betting Previews – Atlanta Braves
Odds to Win the NL East: +500
Odds to Win the National League Pennant: +650
Odds to Win the World Series: +1500
2012 Projected Win Total: 86.5

The Braves finished one-game back of the Cardinals with an overall record of 89-73.

They come into the 2012 season with almost the same cast of characters as last year with the exception of pitcher Derek Lowe, who was traded to Cleveland. The expectation level remains high for a team that has won 84 or more games in 15 of its last 17 seasons.

It will be hard for this club to keep pace with Philadelphia for the NL title over a 162-game season, but as the Cardinals proved last season, all it needs to do is win enough games to get into the postseason derby.

The meat of the lineup will once again feature Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, and Dan Uggla. Last year the Braves struggled to consistently score runs and finished ranked 10th in the NL with a total of 641. They were also ranked near the bottom of the league in hitting with a team batting average of .243.

The key to turning things around will be to get more production out of the front and back of the lineup from players such as Michael Bourne, Freddie Freeman, and Martin Prado.

Fortunately, Atlanta still has one of the better starting rotations in the NL has done a great job at compensating for a lack of run support.

GTBets

It had the fourth-lowest team ERA in the NL in 2011 at 3.48 and boasted a 1.25 WHIP. This year’s rotation will be anchored by Tommy Hanson, along with Brandon Beachy, Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, and Mike Minor.

The Braves also have Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado to work into the mix while Hudson continues to recover from back surgery.

The bullpen is filled with a number of solid arms including Kris Medlen, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel, but the Braves have to be careful not to burn this group out like it did last season when some holes in the rotation opened-up towards the end of summer.

2012 Outlook

Atlanta is the type of team that is going to win between 80-90 games a season with whatever team it puts on the field as a result of having one of the best-run organizations in MLB. The question is what end of this 10-game spectrum will they be on this year.

The overall competition in the East has gotten better so those last few wins may be hard to come by, but the Braves remain the second-best team in the division and a legitimate playoff contender.

2012 Prediction: 88-74 and second in the NL East

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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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