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2007 Atlanta Braves Baseball Preview

Last year, the Atlanta Braves (79- 83), despite giving up much of their pitching and being a bit long in the tooth, were contenders. This season, they look improved, especially in the bullpen, but is that enough to make them a dominant force again?

RHP John Smoltz (16- 9, 3.49 ERA) and LHP Chuck James (11- 4, 3.78 ERA) were tops on a pitching staff that should have won many more games. Smoltz is 40 years old and the question is can continue to start 30-plus games? Tim Hudson (13- 12, 4.86 ERA) has not been effective since coming from Oakland and the rest of the starters are suspect. Closer Bob Wickman (2.61 ERA, 33 SV) was phenomenal after coming to the Braves from the Indians. Tyler Yates and Macay McBride are sound middle guys.

These guys can hit. CF Andruw Jones (.262 AVG, 129 RBI, 41 HR), SS Edgar Renteria (.293 AVG, 70 RBI, 17 HR) and catcher Brian McCann (.333 AVG, 93 RBI, 24 HR) are all solid. A healthy Chipper Jones (.324 AVG, 86 RBI, 26 HR), who missed 52 games last year, is essential.

The team has solid fielding, tying for fifth in the NL with a .984 percentage. The outfield, led by free agent Andruw Jones, is fine on defense, while the infield needs Chipper Jones to be effective. As we have mentioed before fielding percentage is a very important stat in terms of handicapping MLB baseball teams.

The Braves have one of the best management teams in the game with GM John Schuerholz and head coach Bobby Cox. They’ve had a fine 17- year run, but recently they’ve lost some of their punch. Still, they’ve put together a talented group.

It’s doubtful that Atlanta will make the playoffs according to our opinion, the experts, and the early baseball lines. The Mets and Phillies seem to have too much talent to allow that to happen. Still, if the pitching staff can play up to their potential and the veterans can stay healthy, this could be a Wild Card team.

Read more on the Braves other NL East division opponents, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.

For more info on the Braves check out the MLB official page for Atlanta.

 

2007 MLB Preview

All 30 MLB teams are covered in our annual 2007 MLB season preview from Maddux Sports. We have broken down the teams into the divisions the play in. To find the baseball preview of your favorite team click on the division they play in and read up on our division predictions as well as individual MLB team previews. Click here to return to the current baseball preview page.


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