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Atlanta Braves

Stadium: Turner Field | Manager: Fredi Gonzalez
NL East Division2nd5th2nd2nd
National League 9th11th7th3rd
Power Rankings
They are 16-21 in the second half, which includes a stretch of seven wins in eight games. Such a weird team.
Thankfully Fredi Gonzalez finally stopped using B.J. Upton as a leadoff hitter. I don't often gripe about lineup construction, but actively giving one of your worst hitters the most plate appearances on purpose is ridiculous. The hot streak is likely a coincidence, but it doesn't hurt to have a better batting order.
They only have six games left against the Nationals. That's probably bad news since they can't beat anyone else.
I knew this road trip was trouble and noted as much last week, but I can't believe they got swept in San Diego. Overall, they're 0 for 7. There's definitely cause for concern.
Before Tuesday night, the Braves hadn't played a team with a winning record since June 22, which is rather astounding. Within the next month, they have six more games against the Dodgers, four against the Reds, three against the Nationals, three against the A's, three against the Pirates and two against the Mariners. Even with the Reds and Mariners in different degrees of tailspin, this is still a very tough stretch.
They've really gotta get more out of Mike Minor moving forward, one would think.
Their September schedule includes six against the Phillies, three against the Marlins, three against the Mets and three against the Rangers.
The only thing I'd say about the hot streak with B.J. Upton moving to leadoff -- well, before these three straight losses to bad teams -- is that it shows how overrated lineup construction can be in small samples. Methinks Fredi would be well served to transition him lower in the order sooner rather than later.
The rest of their schedule until the All-Star break shows Mets (five more games), Diamondbacks (three) and Cubs (three). After the break, they have an 11-game homestand against the Phillies, Marlins and Padres. That's a pretty great chance for a season-altering string of winning baseball.
I see very little reason for excitement. Honestly, I have trouble seeing them finishing better than .500.
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2014 Team Leaders
AVGFreddie Freeman , 1B.292
HRJustin Upton , LF25
RBIJustin Upton , LF87
OBPFreddie Freeman , 1B.386
SLGJustin Upton , LF.527
RFreddie Freeman , 1B84
SBB.J. Upton , CF19
WErvin Santana , SP13
ERAJulio Teheran , SP2.96
WHIPJulio Teheran , SP1.08
KJulio Teheran , SP156
SVCraig Kimbrel , RP38
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