We knew the Atlanta Braves would field another consistent winner this year, but we didn’t know they were this good.
After completing an impressive road sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend, the Atlanta Braves improved to 11-1 on the season, having swept three consecutive series to begin their 2013 campaign. And they haven’t eked out their wins either, as they’ve outscored opponents 62-23 and outhomered them 20-6.
The Braves got a nice mix of stellar pitching and solid hitting during Sunday’s 9-0 win over the Nats, padding their early season stats. Justin Upton homered for the seventh time already this year and Paul Maholm pitched another gem, allowing just four hits and no earned runs in his third win of the season.
After dropping the series to Atlanta, the Nationals are now 7-5 on the year. The Nats are still considered the overall favorite to win the NL East and one of the favorites to win the NL, but with Atlanta playing well, we will likely see those odds change – if only slightly – soon.
Of course it’s still early in the season, but Washington has continued to struggle against its AL East foe, losing seven straight games dating back to last year. If the Nats want to win the East again, they’ll going to need to find more success against teams in their own division.
Meanwhile, the Braves are looking like a complete team that could contend in the NL themselves. They are getting great production, both at the plate and on the mound. We’ll just have to see if they can maintain the level of play they’ve established so far, though we expect it should dip at least a bit (no team stays this hot forever).
Atlanta will look to win its 10th straight game today, as it takes on the Kansas Royals at home. Kris Medlen will take the hill for the Braves in his third start against Jeremy Guthrie, and though Medlen was saddled with the lone Braves loss earlier this month, his 1.50 ERA tells the Royals that they better bring their A game to the ballpark today.
You could say the Braves are due for a loss, but as long as they keep winning, it’s impossible to bet against them. Stick with the MLB’s hottest team and take Atlanta to cover -1.5 today at home.