Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves are 11-1. They just swept the Nationals and won 9-0 last night. Justin Upton is hitting .340 with 7 home runs. Chris Johnson, Paul Maholm, and Jayson Heyward are hot all while Freddie Freeman is on the DL.

20130415-085815.jpg

“It’s early,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I don’t think we’re going to play .998 baseball the rest of the way, but it sure is better than 1-11.”

For all of those changing your NL East picks slow it down, only four other teams have accomplished the feat since 2000: the 2002 Cleveland Indians, the 2003 Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, and the 2009 Florida Marlins. Coincidentally, of those four teams, only the Giants reached the post-season. In fact, the other three won 87 games or fewer. A hot start is no guarantee of long-term success.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

Team Year Start Finish
DET 1911 11-1 89-65 2
PHI 1915 11-1 90-62NL Pennant
NYG 1918 11-1 71-53 2
NYG 1938 11-1 83-67 3
BRO 1940 11-1 88-65 2
BRO 1955 11-1 98-55WS Champ
PIT 1962 11-1 93-68 4
CLE 1966 11-1 81-81 5
BAL 1966 11-1 97-63WS Champ
CHC 1969 11-1 92-70 2
CIN 1980 11-1 89-73 3
OAK 1981 11-1 64-46Division Champ
ATL 1982 12-0 89-73Division Champ
DET 1984 11-1 104-58WS Champ
MIL 1987 12-0 91-71 3
ATL 1994 11-1 68-46 2
CLE 2002 11-1 74-88 3
SFG 2003 11-1 100-61 1
Division Champ
KCR 2003 11-1 83-79 3
FLA 2009 11-1 87-75 2
ATL 2013 11-1 ? ? ?

It will be fun to watch these Braves for the next few months. Don’t get too ahead of yourselves when looking at their record, their division won’t let them be dominant this season.

Advertisements

My Picks

PICKS:

NL GOLD GLOVES:

P: Clayton Kershaw

C: Yadier Molina

1B: Joey Votto

2B: Brandon Phillips

3B: Pedro Alvarez

SS: Brandon Crawford

OF: Andrew McCutchen

OF: Bryce Harper

OF: Ryan Braun

 

AL GOLD GLOVES:

P: Mark Buehrle

C: Matt Wieters

1B: Albert Pujols

2B: Robinson Cano

3B: Adrian Beltre

SS: JJ Hardy

OF: Mike Trout

OF: Austin Jackson

OF: Josh Hamilton

 

MVP:

NL: Ryan Braun

AL: Josh Hamilton

 

CY YOUNG:

NL: Clayton Kershaw

AL: Justin Verlander

 

COME BACK PLAYER:

NL: Ryan Howard

AL: Mariano Rivera

 

NOTABLE BUSTS:

NL: Carlos Ruiz

AL: Adam Jones, RA Dickey, Kansas City Royals

NL Predicitons

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST:

The most interesting team in all of baseball this year will be the Los Angeles Dodgers and here is why: their starting pitching must stay health, especially now with Greinke’s elbow on the fritz, while Billingsley and Lilly are starting the year on the DL… Kershaw is the best pitcher in the NL bar none and their lineup has a healthy Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier. What will happen to the team when Hanley Ramirez gets healthy? I think they have a shot to win the West but that is all depending on how well the young pitching for the Dbacks is and also if the Giants can score more than 3 runs a game. The Rockies and the Padres will be irrelevant as usual.

  1. Giants: 92-70
  2. Dodgers: 2GB (NL Wild Card slot 2)
  3. Dbacks: 2.5 GB
  4. Rockies: 7.5 GB
  5. Padres: 18 GB

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL:

What is there to say about the NL Central this year? Pittsburgh will go under .500 again this year (sorry Pirate fans), the Cubs will be p*ss poor again and the Brewers, though with a healthy pitching staff with Gallardo and Lohse will not be relevant in the division. That leaves the Cardinals and the Reds. The Reds are a team that many are picking to win the National League and I have to say I like their chances. They have five good starters, starters that work late into games saving the bullpen innings. The rotation reads like this: Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, and Mike Leake. The bullpen is strong as well with Broxton, Marshall, Parra, and a healthy Chapman. Watch out for the Reds in the postseason.

The Cardinals are a fun team to look at this year because of their quality arms throughout the bullpen and the rotation and also a solid lineup, Craig, Jay, Molina, Beltran, and Holliday could make the NL Central race very interesting this season.

  1. Reds: 95-67
  2. Cardinals: 3GB (NL Wild Card slot 1)
  3. Brewers: 7 GB
  4. Pirates: 7GB
  5. Cubs: 22 GB 

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST:

This is my favorite division this year just because the Phillies, Braves, and Nationals all have the staffs to do well all season. I give the edge to the Nationals just because a more full lineup behind Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmerman, Haren and Detwiler. Oh yeah, and their closer, Rafael Soriano, had 42 saves for the Yankees last year. The Phillies and the Braves are interesting to think about. Can both lineups stay healthy this year? That’s a good question given Howard, Utley, J-Roll, the Uptons and Heyward have been hurt off and on for the past few seasons. Both rotations are solid but I just don’t think they have what it takes to beat out the Dodgers and the Cardinals for the 2 Wild Card slots, (I have the Cards with 92 wins and the Dodgers with 90). I wish I could give my team, the Mets, some love but again in 2013 they will be horrible, same with the Marlins.

  1. Nationals: 97-65
  2. Phillies: 9 GB
  3. Braves: 9 GB
  4. Mets: 17 GB
  5. Marlins: 20 GB

2013 Predictions!

This season will be full of surprises… that should go unsaid (because the same thing is said at the beginning of every season.) Y’all read my website for opinion and I am going to give it to you right here. Let me know what you all think about my predictions and what your predications are as well.

I will delve into each division, each for Gold Glove, CY Young and MVP winners. As well as come back players, busts and over-unders for the 2013 season.

Now without further a due, let us jump into this!

DIVISION PREDICTIONS:

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST:

This will be an interesting division this year. I am sure the A’s surprised you as well last year but do they have what it takes this year to repeat on top of the division? They have 5 very good starts as well as a very young lineup behind them. Do they have what it takes to take down the Los Angeles Angels? An angels lineup that has a hungry Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and now Josh Hamilton… You tell me if a time like that can lose a division. The Astros will be irrelevant again and I believe that the Rangers aren’t capable of a) staying healthy and b) pitching well all season. Oh, and the mariners are in the division too, don’t forget. The division will go like this:

  1. Angels: 94-68
  2. A’s: 4 GB
  3. Rangers: 5 GB
  4. Mariners: 12 GB
  5. Astros: 26 GB

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL:

This is easily the 2nd most intriguing race in baseball this year (just behind the AL East). What will come of the Indians and the Royals? The Twins will sadly be garbage again and the Tigers are the outright favorites. The reigning AL champions will be accompanied by the switch hitter Victor Martinez who missed all of the 2012 season. The White Sox may be able to give them a run for their money with a lineup solid throughout, and an automatic ace, Chris Sale, with a solid bullpen. In this division I give it to the Tigers, but just barely.

  1. Tigers: 93-69
  2. White Sox: 1 GB (Wild Card Slot 1)
  3. Royals: 4 GB
  4. Indians: 8 GB
  5. Twins: 18GB

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST:

This division will be incredibly fun to watch this season. What will come of the Blue Jays? Will they end up like the 2012 Miami Marlins? With a pitching staff with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, JC Romero, and RA Dickey that might be hard to do. Their lineup reads like this:

  1. Jose Reyes SS
  2. Melky Cabrera LF
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion 1B
  5. Adam Lind DH
  6. JP Arencibia C
  7. Colby Rasmus CF
  8. Emilio Bonifacio 2B
  9. Maicer Izturis 3B

Could a lineup this thorough, this potent, be denied an AL East title, especially with teams like the surprising O’s and the always strong Rays? Also in this division are the Yankees and the Red Sox who will have disappointing seasons.

The division will end up like this:

  1. Blue Jays: 92-70
  2. Rays: 2 GB (Wild Card Slot 2)
  3. Orioles: 5 GB
  4. Yankees: 7 GB
  5. Red Sox: 11 GB

…Stay tuned for NL predictions later today