The Braves are 17-21 through 38 games, putting them 4th place in the NL East and 7.5 games behind the Mets for first. It’s another undesirable start to the season for the World champs, but they’ve been here before, which should give them plenty of confidence looking forward, and so should their upcoming schedule.
Beginning tomorrow, the Braves start their most winnable stretch of the season easily, and it goes for an entire month. Their next ten games are against NL East foes — six versus the Marlins and four against the Phillies. Those aren’t pushovers by any means, but the Braves have dominated divisional opponents on their way to four straight NL East titles, and they must do it again if they want to win a fifth.
However, after that is where things really start to get favorable. The Braves go out west to take on the Diamondbacks and Rockies for seven games. Both of those teams had some promising starts, but they’ve regressed towards the mean as of late. The Braves must take advantage. Then Atlanta plays the Athletics, Pirates, Nationals, and Cubs — four of the worst teams in baseball.
That’s a full month of games where the Braves should be favorites. Now, it goes without saying that just because they are playing bad teams doesn’t mean they will come out of it with a record above .500. The Braves have played plenty of terrible clubs over the years and had issues. You still have to play good baseball in order to come away with wins; however, it’s much easier to do so against rebuilding franchises. If the Braves can’t make up some ground in the division over the next month — or in the wild card race at the very least — then it may be time to start questioning just how far this team can make it this year.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire