Braves 2017 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2017 Atlanta Braves predictions? It is likely to be more of the same but in a different venue for the Braves – Sun Trust Park. They have made some shrewd moves that will make them more competitive but nothing that makes you believe they can actually contend.
MLB Braves Predictions & Handicapping Insight
The Braves are hoping that their fans will be distracted by their shiny new park and some new names that baseball fans know really well. What they won’t see a lot of is winning. This team won just 68 games a year ago and it is hard to see much more than that this season.
There is some hope for the future in the form of top prospect Dansby Swanson, who we saw at the end of last year. This team could be back on the rise but it is going to be of the very slow variety and getting out of last place this season does not seem very likely.
2017 MLB Team Previews – Atlanta Braves
- National League Central +1800
- National League +5500
- World Series +10000
- Bartolo Colon
- R.A. Dickey
- Jaime Garcia
The Braves added three new arms to their rotation and they definitely went the experience route. Colon won 15 games in the same decision last year so even though he is not getting any younger he can be effective. The same goes for Dickey who should see a bump in his numbers with the return to the NL.
Garcia comes from St. Louis where he showed flashes. Nobody threw less pitches per batter last season but I am not sure if that is a true measure of success.
Not much was added offensively. Sean Rodriguez has some power and is expected to fill a utility role
- IF Erick Aybar
An easy guy to say good bye to, opening up a spot for Swanson to truly prove himself.
Braves Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- CF Ender Inciarte
- SS Dansby Swanson
- 1B Freddie Freeman
- LF Matt Kemp
- RF Nick Markakis
- 3B Adonis Garcia
- C Tyler Flowers
- SS Jace Peterson
Freeman is a bonafide middle of the order hitter and Kemp showed some flashes after being acquired from the Padres but beyond those two it is going to be tough count on the others – the exception might be inciarte.
This group really needs Swanson to be ready right now otherwise they might score even less than they did a year ago when they got pretty good production from the likes of Markakis and Garcia. I am not optimistic.
Cubs Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- RH Julio Teheran
- RH Bartolo Colon
- LH Jaime Garcia
- RH R.A. Dickey
- RH Mike Folynewicz
The rotation should be better than a year ago with all of the additions they made. Teheran is a nice starter but he is not an ace in my book. With better luck though he could definitely win more than the 7 games he did a year ago.
Colon, Garcia and Dickey combined for 35 wins with their respective teams in 2016. It is reasonable to expect them to be able to reach that threshold this season. Dickey is the Wild Card. Yes he is old but the knuckle ball, back in the NL, could fool some people.
Cubs Predictions: Projected Closer:
- RH Jim Johnson
Johnson had 20 saves last season, the most he has had since he had 51 and 51 in back to back seasons with Baltimore. He won’t fade with the pressure but he is not a great option. The best case scenario is probably that he looks good enough to deal for futures at the deadline.
Ian Krol has developed into a nice situational lefty. Averaging less than an inning per appearance last year he struck out more than a batter per inning.
Mauricio Cabrera has the big arm in this bullpen – think Aroldis Chapman. He had a strong rookie season and is the closer of the future.
2017 Atlanta Braves Prediction:
With the way they solidified the pitching staff the Braves should be more consistent in 2017, though that might not mean more wins. In fact it might be a betting disadvantage.
This team was positive more than 4 units because the lines on a lot of their games had them as very heavy underdogs. As an example the Braves were 11-11 in starts by Folynewicz but he cleared four units all by himself.
The lineup scored a smidge over 4 runs per game last season. They need to have that number increase if they are going to start being considered a team that might even contend for a Wild Card. That is hard to project with only one really good bat – Freeman – and some aging players around him.
Swanson is a guy they have been waiting on and he looks good but it is not like he profiles like Tulo at shortshop. Maybe more like Alan Trammell.
The best case scenario for Atlanta this season is probably a feisty club that competes hard that is welcomed in their new ballpark. Beyond that would be a great surprise.
What do you think of our 2017 Atlanta Braves predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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