We are now mere days away from pitchers and catchers reporting in preparation for the 2021 MLB season! With the craziness that has been going on around the sports world and beyond over the past year, it is nice to have a bit of normalcy emerge regarding the sport we all love.
Of course, this time of year also is when several notable sources reveal their projections for the upcoming baseball season. Last week, both Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs revealed their outlook for 2021. Reactions to these projections in regards to the Braves were mixed at best, which included a very insightful article explaining the in and outs of these numbers from Mike Petriello of MLB.com.
Fortunately, more projections were expected this week, and this time around, they painted a prettier picture for the outlook of Atlanta’s fortunes this season.
While the value a person places on these projections will certainly vary, the overall logic in USA Today’s efforts seems valid. According to these numbers, Atlanta is expected to win the NL East and have the third best record in the National League and the fourth best record in all of baseball. A 93-69 record certainly seems to be within reach for Atlanta, with improvements made to the starting rotation and the return of Marcell Ozuna to help anchor one of the best lineups in baseball.
However, the Braves work is not done. It is very likely the major moves off the offseason have already been completed; however, additions to the bullpen, bench, and outfield could certainly emerge. Though it has been said the Braves will go into the 2021 season with a lower payroll than last year, they still have room to make multiple additions before the season. Whether that comes via trade or free agency remains to be seen.
Though there are a few reasons for concerns when it comes to the Braves, there is also plenty to like about their young core. Another encouraging aspect of this team is that there is also plenty of room for continued improvement. Fortunately, after three straight division titles and coming within one game of the World Series last year, the Braves remain among the best in the National League as they pursue their first pennant since 1999.