Friday on the way to work, Peter Gammons was on ESPN Radio predicting the Atlanta Braves to take the NL East and represent the NL in the World Series. Gammons said that the Braves were the most impressive team (in the NL) that he saw this spring, they go six deep in the rotation, and the combination of switch hitters Chipper and Teixeira in the middle of the lineup would be hard for most teams to overcome. He also mentioned the young lineup, top-to-bottom, being better than most teams. Escobar, Kelly Johnson, and Francoeur all were mentioned.
I guess the season and this team snuck up on me. I am probably being very obvious, but for the Braves to stand half a chance, here are my keys to success:
- Smoltz and Hampton have to stay healthy. 14+ wins from Smoltz, and 10+ from Hampton.
- Glavine does not have to be spectacular, but he has to put up quality starts, and needs to manufacture 10 wins.
- Hudson has to be the staff ace.
- Soriano and the bullpen need to be brilliant. Gonzalez needs to come back healthy from the DL.
- The lineup should be solid, but Chipper has to stay healthy.
Hopefully Gammons is right. Go Braves!