2020-03-14 20:00:00 EDT
The Atlanta Braves have improved their win total in each of the last five seasons, and they hope to make the postseason for three straight years for the first time since 2003-05. One of the more exciting young teams in all of baseball, the Braves should have their eyes set on a possible World Series title. Get Free MLB Picks and MLB Predictions for the Atlanta Braves all season long for every game at Sports Chat Place
Additions: Marcell Ozuna took a big step back last season with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he’s still a respectable bat in the middle of the order, and he’s hitting .281 while averaging 30 homers his last three seasons. Travis d’Arnaud is a disciplined hitter who has improved his power over the years and provides some needed stability at the catcher position. Will Smith was an all-star reliever last season and has filthy stuff, providing a much needed boost to a bullpen that struggled to close the door at times. Felix Hernandez could also end up being a steal if he’s able to right the ship a bit with lower expectations now that he’s out of Seattle.
Subtractions: Josh Donaldson leaves for Minnesota after one season in Atlanta where he hit .259 and had 37 homers with 94 RBI. Donaldson was easily one of the Braves best and must clutch hitters last year. Julio Teheran leaves for Los Angeles after spending nine years with the Braves, pitching 1,360 innings while striking out 1,184 batters and being credited with 77 wins. Dallas Keuchel is now with the Chicago White Sox after pitching 112.2 innings and striking out 91 hitters in one season with the Braves.
Season Outlook: Now that the Braves have removed the youth tag with a lot of their youngsters getting a couple seasons under their belt, they’ve entered the World Series or bust era. The Yankees, Dodgers and Astros will continue to be the Big Three and the favorites, but the Braves are right behind them and shouldn’t have lower expectations. The Braves were top-five in the National League last season in pitching, hitting and team bullpen ERA. Also, no team in the NL made more money for bettors than the Braves. A lineup of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Ozuna, d’Arnaud, Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Johan Camargo can go toe-to-toe with any in baseball. If the Braves can find a reliable third pitcher behind Mike Soroka and Max Fried, they have to like their chances to bring a title to the A. The Braves should be favored to win the NL East and you should be betting on them a lot this season.
Win Total Prediction: Over 90.5