Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Braves: Picked to lose in 2015, already trailing in 2017


Take a peek at the scoreboard in the bottom left corner. (Courtesy Atlanta Braves)

The Internet is a-twitter , as it were, over the latest "renderings" of the Atlanta Braves' new stadium, which show -- according to the lavish new scoreboard, and I tee-hee even as I write this -- the home team trailing the Washington Nationals 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

(An aside: I'm sure this three-run deficit will somehow be Frank Wren's fault.)

Each side is shown with 10 hits. The Braves have committed the game's only error. That sounds about right. Except for the Braves having 10 hits. And three runs. That's a lot for them.

Here we pause five seconds for you to tee-hee, too. And then we move onward to ... sabermetrics!

The very useful site FanGraphs projects the Braves to finish fourth in the five-team National League East in 2015 , which comes way before they move to SunTrust Park in Cobb County and patrons get to park at Cumberland Mall , much to the non-delight of Cumberland merchants. The Braves, who just went 79-83, are bound for 75-87 next season, according to FanGraphs' crunched numbers.

They'll score .25 more runs per game than in 2014, according to FanGraphs, but they'll yield .54 more RPG. Ergo, more losing.

I can't say I disagree. The Mets are scheduled to get Matt Harvey, their best pitcher, back from Tommy John surgery. The Marlins are scheduled to get Jose Fernandez, their best pitcher, back from TJ as well, and the Fish have actually spent money this offseason. The Braves have traded Jason Heyward and handed $45 million to Nick Markakis .

By 2017, things might be much different. But if the "rendering" is accurate, the Braves might want to invest in a couple of big-swinging pinch-hitters. It's hard to override a three-run deficit with singles. (Although the Nats' Drew Storen isn't to be confused with Craig Kimbrel, so hope remains.)


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.