The Atlanta Braves are coming off a disappointing-but-expected west coast road trip in which they went 2-4. Despite the poor week they remained in a virtual tie atop the NL East with the Washington Nationals with a 37-28 record.
Through 2.5 months the Braves have played the second-toughest schedule in the National League. Now comes to huge opportunity for the club, and one they need to take full advantage of.
As you can see, 12 of the next 14 games will be played at home. All six of those teams are below .500. The Mets are 16-33 since starting 11-1. The Padres are better than expected, but the Braves shouldn’t have too many issues with them at home. The Blue Jays are already 15 games out of the AL East. The Orioles are an unfathomable 19-45, and the Reds have the worst record in the NL.
It is imperative that the Braves take advantage of this upcoming stretch if they’re going to seriously contend this summer. The July schedule looks brutal — seriously, it’s a monster — and the Nationals are only going to get healthier as the season progresses.
The good news is that Mike Soroka is scheduled to return on Wednesday. Ronald Acuña shouldn’t be too far behind as he begins a rehab assignment in the near future. Luiz Gohara will hopefully settle in now that he’s back from Brazil.
Baseball is weird and it’s foolish to project games this far out, but this feels like a stretch where aiming for a 10-4 mark isn’t outrageous. Now it’s up to Atlanta to figure things out at home and beat the teams they’re supposed to beat.