The Atlanta Braves have had a busy first half of the 2017 MLB season. Last year the Braves said goodbye to Turner Field and this season said hello to the brand new, state of the art, SunTrust Park.
The tomahawk chopping Braves haven’t done much celebrating this season as they still struggle to find ways to win, but despite their 42-45 record, they are currently in second place and just 9.5 games behind Goliath in the form of the Washington Nationals. With the All-Star break in full swing, it is time to take a look at the first half of the season for the Atlanta Braves.
Improvements & disappointments
So Turner Field is now a distant memory and the Braves have moved on from the big city and out to the suburbs where they continue to linger around the .500 mark. Some things we have come to see from the Atlanta Braves this season is that Freddie Freeman is a beast of a man and Dansby Swanson has some skill and major potential but struggles to hit the ball. We have also seen that their pitching staff can’t keep teams off the scoreboard if their lives depended on it, although a good portion of that belonged to Big Sexy himself Bartolo Colon, who was recently released from the team.
The Braves offense has actually done well despite aging Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips, not to mention right fielder Nick Markakis. A big bonus for them this season has been the hitting of first baseman Matt Adams who currently sits at .292 with 14 home runs. Also, let us not go without mentioning Freddie Freeman and what he has done with a bat in his hands this year.
He currently posts a ridiculous average of .348 with 16 home runs, wowza. The Braves are mediocre, they have the 7th best team average in baseball, but one of the worst team ERA’s to go along with it. Now I know things can change around, injuries and hot streaks happen. The Braves have the offensive power to make a run and cut into the 9.5 game lead that the Nationals have, the only question is; will their pitching staff let them?
Second half prediction
Now looking toward the future. If the Braves continue to struggle this season then I could see them selling at the deadline, possible Dansby Swanson or Freddie Freeman, but they don’t have to. Most likely Swanson will be traded to make way for Kevin Maitan who has dazzled in the minors. If they decide to trade Freeman then that will bring in a lot of young guys who could potentially change the path for the Braves going forward. In my honest opinion, I would keep Freeman, trade Swanson, and let the prospects develop and have them be the new driving force behind the Atlanta Braves.