Atlanta Braves: 5 Predictions for the End of the Season

Ross DurrenceCorrespondent IIJuly 16, 2011

Atlanta Braves: 5 Predictions for the End of the Season

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    Fresh off the All-Star break, the Braves are primed to continue their chase of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    While they're bats have been cold, they're pitching has been red hot as they boast one of the best staffs in all of baseball.

    Read ahead as I peer through my crystal ball and make predictions about the end of the year.

1. Dan Uggla Will Finish the Year Above .215

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    Though Dan Uggla's offensive struggles are well documented, he's been showing signs of improvement.

    Uggla is currently riding a seven game hitting streak and has raised his average eight points in that span.

    He will continue to warm up and finish the year well above the Mendoza line.

2. Craig Kimbrel Will Beat out Freddie Freeman to Win NL Rookie of the Year

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    Craig Kimbrel leads the majors in saves this season and shows no signs of slowing down.

    His biggest competition will be from teammate Freddie Freeman, who's also having a stellar year.

    Kimbrel's numbers are just too good.

3. Hunter Pence Will Lead the Braves in RBI

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    After being dealt to the Braves at the trade deadline, Pence will pick up exactly where he left off in Houston.

    He'll drive in 100 runs for the first time in his young career.

4. The Braves Win Their First Division Title Since 2005

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    It will come down to the final series of the regular season, but the Braves will eek out the division title over the Phillies.

    The biggest reason why?

    See previous slide.

5. When the Playoffs End, Chipper Jones Will Announce His Retirement

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    Chipper Jones has been one of the greatest Braves of all-time.

    He's the only switch hitter with a career average above .300 whose also hit 400 homers, and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

    Thanks, Chip.