Are the Atlanta Braves contenders or pretenders? This upcoming stretch of games will ultimately tell us plenty on the team’s 2018 direction.
At the end of June, who will be leading the NL East? If this question were to be asked at the beginning of the season, the Washington Nationals would almost unanimously be the answer. If you asked who would be second, most would feel that the New York Mets would be in that position. Yet, both of these answers would be wrong. Here we are at the end of June, and the Atlanta Braves have a healthy 3 game lead in the NL East, but are the Atlanta Braves actually a threat to win the division? It likely depends on how they finish off the first half of the season. The Braves have an extremely pivotal stretch of games coming up to end the first half of the season.
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The Atlanta Braves are entering an extremely difficult road trip. They’re matched up against the
this weekend. Then, they have to travel to Yankee Stadium to play the premiere offense in the MLB. Finally, they finish off with a four-game series against the
This road trip is going to play an integral part in the Braves’ playoff hopes. Not only will it affect their record, but it may dictate who they target at the deadline. Since it appears that the Braves will certainly be in the playoff hunt, the Braves will surely be making moves at the deadline.
However, whoever they decide to acquire will likely depend on this road trip. For instance, if the bullpen continues to struggle, the Braves will certainly be trading for a bullpen arm. Does Johan Camargo continue to be productive at third base? If so, they may hold off on adding a third baseman. Especially with the talented Austin Riley waiting in the wings beyond 2018 if Camargo can hold serve this season.
Watch this road trip very closely. Because the success, or lack of success, had on this road trip will prove once and for all; are the Braves true contenders or pretenders?