As we look at the rest of the 2021 schedule for the Atlanta Braves it gives hope that this team can turn things around.
I’ve been very adamant about the fact that this Atlanta Braves team just doesn’t have what it takes and have even stated they should sell at the trade deadline.
But there are a few reasons to believe this team can actually make a run in the final two months and win the NL East.
One that we’ve mentioned a lot is the fact that no other team in the NL East has really ran away with things, which is why the Braves are even still considered a fringe contender even though they haven’t had a winning record all season.
Second, they have some notable players coming back from injury that could help out — mostly Travis d’Arnaud.
The catcher position has been a huge hole for the Braves since he went out. If he’s anywhere close to where he was before the injury it will be a huge boost to the lineup.
Ian Anderson should be back soon and Huascar Ynoa will likely be back in August.
Of course, that’s assuming everyone else who is healthy remains healthy the rest of the way, which is a huge assumption.
Third, and what I really wanted to focus on here, is the schedule.
The schedule coming out of the All-Star break was pretty brutal, but it bodes well for the final two months.
Atlanta has 40 games left against teams who are either floating around .500 or lower the rest of the way.
That includes a Nationals team who is likely to be without Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg — as well as some top bullpen arms. And could even be without Braves killer Trea Turner.
They have 20 games against teams who are just straight-up bad in the Marlins, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Orioles.
Maybe it’s not fair to throw the Marlins in that mix with how well they play against the Braves, but still, if they trade off some pieces at the deadline they could be significantly worse down the stretch.
Yes, they have two series with the Giants and ones with the Dodgers and Padres that will be tough. But every other series on the schedule should be winnable going forward.
I say “should” because this team has played in those types of series all year and hasn’t won them consistently. But if they get a little help at the trade deadline — or even if they don’t and just start playing like they’re capable — the schedule gives them the chance to win.