Last night the Braves won their second straight division title for the first time since George W. Bush was in office. Not bad for a group of scrappy young players, a manager who wasn’t a flashy hire, and a front office that refuses to go anywhere near the luxury tax.
Despite crushing all expectations in 2018, Atlanta still had plenty of doubters in the national media. It just goes to show the experts in the national media often don’t know as much about one specific team as the local fan base. With that being said, let’s look at some of the esteemed media’s predictions for the Atlanta Braves 2019 season.
ESPN – On March 26, ESPN had 31 experts polled and the breakdown went: Nationals (13 first place votes), Phillies (11 first place votes), Braves (5 first place votes).
Good work worldwide leader in sports!
USA Today – On March 12, USA Today’s Jessee Yomtov wrote the following sentence to predict the Braves season, “The young squad fights for the division title, but the failure to add depth in the winter results in a third-place finish behind Washington and Philadelphia.” Swing and a miss.
The Ringer – On March 27, Michael Baumann noted the need for the Braves to improve their pitching, and how the division would be substantially more competitive this year. “I need to see it before I believe it.” Struck out looking.
MLB/Fangraphs – On March 17, David Adler of MLB.com used the FanGraphs’s playoff projection systems to make predictions for the upcoming season. In the article, the Braves were projected to finish 4thin the N.L. East behind the Nationals, Phillies, and Mets. Only a 13.2% chance of winning the division, and 38.1% chance of making the playoffs was given to the Braves.
As the kids say these days, “you hate to see it.” I get that hot takes usually age like bananas. If you want a good laugh, check out Chattanoogan archives for my 2019 sports predictions. Despite some strikeouts in that column, you can see where I had the Braves winning their division and the N.L. Pennant.
Pat Benson has been a sideline reporter, P.A. announcer, and radio personality.
Tweet him @Pat_Benson_Jr.