Who Will Win What- N.L. East- Braves

Got you on this one and I thought it was easy. Mark McGwire hit the most home runs and never won and MVP. Today’s question is below.
3. Atlanta Braves 87-75 

Atlanta was in an unfamiliar place last offseason as they were rebuilding from a 90 loss season. The Braves play in the second hardest division with the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins. Yet the have the best rotation in the division. Atlanta will have a much improved season but will fall short of the playoffs by three games. 
The Braves swung for the fences and missed yet I guess you could say stole third base. Across the papers read “REPORT: JAKE PEAVEY TO THE BRAVES; BRAVES EXPECTED TO INK FURCAL; BRAVES AWAIT DECISION FROM A.J.; and GRIFFEY WILL PLAY FOR THE BRAVES. None of them came true. However Atlanta did sign Derek Lowe, Garret Anderson, and Japan star Kenshin Kawakami. While at the same time they traded for Javier Vazquez. They also resigned future hall of famer, Tom Glavine and signed former Red Sox catcher, David Ross. Even with all of these good moves Atlanta lost Mike Hampton and John Smoltz.
What Atlanta missed out on they got back. For example the Braves lost out on Ken Griffey Jr. but they signed Garrett Anderson. They lost out on the Jake Peavy trade but they traded for Javier Vazquez. They did not get A.J. Burnett then they signed Derek Lowe, who pitched a fantastic game last night. So really Atlanta did not lose anything from missing out on Junior, Furcal, Peavy, and A.J. In fact in my opinion they had the best offseason out of any teams and we saw that Sunday night.
Atlanta does not have the best bullpen. They really only have two guys. Led by closer, Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano are they only forces out of the bullpen. Peter Moylan is coming off of a season where he only pitched 5.2 innings last season due to injuries. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty is so bad that last year with the Mariners in 6.2 innings he gave up fifteen earned runs! Jorge Campillo is a very important pieces because he can come out of the bullpen and start a game. However the Braves this year will not make it a six inning game. Instead it is a nine inning game.
The Braves have a good offense led by Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, and Garret Anderson. Jeff Francoeur and Casey Kotchman will have much improved seasons which is a main part of the Braves because if they do not Atlanta can easily lose seven more games. Jones, McCann, Anderson, Francoeur, and Kotchman hit only 85 home runs. Baseball Prospectus projects them to hit a total of 87 home runs. I see them hitting a total of 100 home runs led by Chipper Jones’ 25 and Brain McCann’s 30.
Like I said before Atlanta has the best rotation in the Nation League East. The Braves have three aces but four guys make that up. Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez are great pitchers and aces on any team. Jair Jurrjens and Kenshin Kawakami are each half of and ace. Jurrjens is still improving and has not reached his full potential. However in a few years he will be an ace. Kawakami is not an ace because I have never seen him pitch and when you have not played in MLB and no one has seen you in a real game no one can call you an ace.
Derek Lowe did exactly what the Braves brought him there to do yesterday. Lowe pitched eight innings and struck out four while giving up no runs and only two hits. Lowe will have a great season with the Braves because unlike where he has pitched before Atlanta does not have the billions of fans that the Red Sox and Dodgers have. The sinkerballer will most likely win at least fifteen games, pitch 200 innings, and have an ERA under 3.50.
A very interesting case is Jordan Schafer. Schafer is a rookie who has never played baseball above double AA till last night. He was suspended for fifty games for violating MLB’s drug policy. In his first at bat in the majors yesterday he hit a home run and became the 99th player to hit a home run in their first at bat. In his second at bat he hit a single up the middle. In his third at bat he was intentionally walked! he finally got out after Brad Lidge struck him out. 
Everyone says pitching wins everything and it does 99 percent of the time. However you need run support to win a ball game. Unless one of the Braves players steps up big the Braves will be watching in October.
All right here is today’s question. “Who was the first player to hit two home runs from both sides of the plate on opening day?” You better get this one right!
Photo Credits
2- bostonsports.mlblogs.com
Also I would like to thank you guys for getting me to the final four in Max Maddness!!!!!!!!!


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