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Expectations At All-Time Low For Braves

I’m going to open this season preview with a confession. I am an Atlanta Braves fan and have been ever since I started watching baseball as a youngster. So if this comes across extra sullen and ‘realistic’ you know why.

The Atlanta Braves are not going to be good this season. In fact, they will likely be in contention for the worst team in baseball. The Braves finished in the bottom third in every major statistical category last season and have already given up on their final season at Turner Field being one of competence.

Atlanta is tied for the longest odds to win the World Series this season at +15,000 and rightfully so. The entire lineup is extremely young and has promise, but many of the players should not be full-time players in the majors yet. Instead, the Braves have decided to go with the trial by fire approach for many of their young players in hopes that the beatings they will take this season help them grow.

The most consistent hitter on the Braves last season? 38-year-old A.J. Pierzynski. There is no need to talk about their hitting from 2015 aside from that.

This year should see some improvements from the Braves lineup as the younger players will have another season under their belt, but don’t expect any miracles. The team did manage to acquire a king’s ransom from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Shelby Miller, which brought aboard Ender Inciarte who will likely be the most consistent bat in the order this season. 

The starting rotation will likely only feature one pitcher over the age of 30 and could realistically see four starters under the age of 26. The potential for this group is sky-high, but first Julio Teheran will first need to regain his form after a down year last season. In his first two seasons with the club Teheran posted an ERA just over 3.00, but last year he had a terrible 4.04 ERA.

Let there be no mistake, this is a team building toward the future. Though excitement may be through the roof for the middle infield combo of Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies, don’t expect the team to rush them along to the majors and risk hindering their development. Swanson, Albies and pitcher Sean Newcomb all rank inside MLB.com’s top 30 prospects in all of baseball.

If you want to throw your money away you can get the Braves winning the National League Pennant at +6600 or winning the NL East at +2500. Atlanta finishing ahead of the New York Mets, Washington Nationals or even the Miami Marlins in the division is just not going to happen. More than likely it will be a contest between the Braves and Philadelphia Phillies as to who will be the worst team in the NL East and likely all of baseball.

The Braves have the second-lowest season win total in the MLB, with books pegging the team at 66.5 wins. The last time the Braves won less than 66.5 games in a season was 1990. Yes 1990, the same year The Simpsons first aired, the same year Home Alone grossed more than any other movie and two years before I was born. The 1999 and 2016 Braves feature similarities, with the roster composed of a few aging veterans to round out a predominantly youth filled roster with tons of potential. 

The Braves and their fans know this team is not competing this season or probably even next year. This is a team built to compete in a couple years once they are settled in their new stadium.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry in the corner.

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2016 Atlanta Braves Futures Odds
MarketOdds
World Series+15000
National League Pennant+6600
National League East+2500
Win Totals66.5

Odds as of March 30 at Bovada

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