2011 MLB Predictions: Atlanta Braves to Surprise in the Postseason
2011 MLB Predictions Have Braves Stunning Reds in Divisional Series of Playoffs
In the 2011 MLB playoffs, I predict the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and San Francisco Giants will repeat as postseason contenders.
However, I have the Braves and Reds as the two and three seeds respectively this season, and the Phillies and Giants as the one and four seeds.
Thus, the Braves will meet up with the Reds in the divisional series of the 2011 playoffs.
It is here I see them shocking a solid team in the Reds.
A lot of people forget that the Braves almost beat the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs last season; injuries had taken their toll by then and a few things didn't go their way.
They were also frankly outplayed by the Giants, but what seemed like a choke at the time by the Braves we all realized was simply the Giants playing better than anyone else after they won the World Series.
The Braves return Rookie of the Year runner-up Jason Heyward, who will only get better, as well as young starter Tommy Hanson, who is being mentioned as a candidate for the National League Cy Young in some circles. They also picked up power hitting second baseman Dan Uggla, someone that will seriously help their offense.
The Reds, on the other hand, have an explosive offense, as well as a pretty solid starting rotation and a young arm out of the bullpen in Aroldis Chapman that can throw up to 105 miles per hour.
But, in the end, I see the Braves' pitching being the difference in the series, quieting the Reds' bats to an extent and getting enough out of their revamped offense to make it happen.
However, the surprise will end there as the Braves lose in the NLCS.
For a preview of the 2011 Braves, check out Jeffrey Brown's piece.
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