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Atlanta Braves Betting Tips – Things Looking UP For The Braves Heading In To 2013

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 3/3/2013 6:18:47 PM

After another disappointing finish to the 2012 online sportsbook season, things are looking way UP for the Atlanta Braves heading in to 2013. Atlanta was one of the top teams in the National League a year ago, and general manager Frank Wren was aggressive in the offseason to make sure he added a couple of missing pieces that could make the difference in an extended postseason run this coming season. The Braves acquired Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks and added BJ Upton from the Tampa Bay Rays to play center field. The addition of the two Upton’s to an outfield that already features Jason Heyward, things are looking UP for Atlanta heading in to 2013.

Justin Upton is the better hitter of the two, hitting .280 in 155 games for the Diamondbacks last season, and will be slotted in to left field next to BJ Upton, who has more range and will be slotted in as the team’s centerfielder. The Braves’ offense already showed a dramatic improvement from 2011 to 2012 in terms of runs, shooting up from 641 to 700 and finishing among the league leaders in run differential. While Justin’s production has slipped in the past two online betting years, his talent is unquestionable and worth taking the risk with for an Atlanta team that knows that they are also getting a solid defensive talent with the chance he could bat closer to .300. Heyward is still improving in the heart of the Braves’ order, and if Brian McCann and Dan Uggla can show a little more power, this offense could be even more dangerous in 2013.

As for the pitching staff, the ceiling is very high for a group that finished seventh in the majors in ERA despite still being very young. Kris Medlen emerged as a star in 2012, compiling a 0.97 ERA in his first 12 starts of the season and finishing with a 10-1 record and 1.57 ERA overall. Tim Hudson is still a very solid No. 2 behind Medlen, and both Paul Maholm and Mike Minor have shown signs they could be very good as well. The key for Minor will be to continue throwing strikes and not allowing the free bases that he was able to cut down on in the second half of last sports betting season. Maholm has shown flashes, so even though has struggled mightily with consistency throughout his career, he should still be a solid No. 4 pitcher in a very good rotation. Atlanta finished behind only the Cincinnati Reds in terms of its bullpen’s ERA, and there is no reason to expect any less going forward.

With a rotation and bullpen that ranks in the top-10 in ERA, and a couple of key additions to an offense that showed marked improvement in 2012, the Braves are a team on the rise in the NL. The NL East division is pretty stacked with the Nationals, Phillies, and Mets all improving, but there is no doubt that this Atlanta team should be able to to find its way in to the postseason, where an extended run is not out of the question.

Projected Record: 97-65: 2nd In NL East

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