The Braves are among the betting favorites to win the 2023 World Series. Some projections have the club winning the most games in baseball, and it’s provided a different experience for Braves Country, which is mostly used to being undervalued by projections.
Honestly, I prefer to be the underdog. The climb up the mountain is always tantalizing, but once you reach the peak and raise the Commissioner’s Trophy, you’ve got a target on your back. And the Braves, who are winners of five straight NL East titles, have the largest one in the division. It doesn’t help that most sites’ projections have them winning the division and challenging for the Fall Classic.
Thankfully, Braves fans can take a big sigh of relief because Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections don’t see Atlanta winning the East, finishing second place behind the Mets, with 90 wins.
PECOTA gives the Braves a 6.0% chance to win the World Series, which is the fourth-best odds in the National League behind the Mets, Dodgers and Padres. Despite FanGraphs and other projection sites loving the Braves, PECOTA doesn’t, but they never have. The system has historically been low on the Braves.
Before the lockout last year, the Braves were projected to win 82 games but ended with 101 and chased down the Mets from 10.5 games behind. During the 2021 season, the Braves were projected to win 82 games again and finish fourth place in the NL East but ended as champions. In 2020, the Braves were projected to win 83 games and finish third in the division. PECOTA projected the 2019 squad to win 84 games; they won 97. And in 2018, PECOTA projected them to win 76 games and finish in fourth; they won 90 games.
Many oddsmakers and projections might favor the Braves, but PECOTA continues to undervalue them and overvalue the Mets. It should provide a ton of relief for fans in Atlanta, who relish the underdog role.
Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire
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