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MLB Atlanta Braves

Previewing Atlanta Braves’ 2013 Month of April

Fredi Gonzalez Atlanta Braves

Derick Hingle-USA Today Sports

The Atlanta Braves wrapped up the 2013 spring training with a 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday. Now, manager Fredi Gonzalez and the team can turn their attention toward the start of the 2013 MLB season. Let’s take a look at what the Braves are facing in the first month of the season.

Opponents: Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals (2), Pittsburgh Pirates (4), Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Nationals

Splits: 10 home games, 16 away games

Series to Watch: April 12-14 at the Nationals

The schedule makers did not give the Braves any favors to begin the year with a soft schedule. Included in the first month are two series with the defending NL East Division champs, the 2012 American League representative in the World Series, an improving Pirates team and a trip to Coors Field in Denver that’s never easy. Not to mention the opening series with the Phillies, a talented and overlooked team in 2013.

The Braves’ 16 away games comes in a stretch from April 8-28 when they play 16 of 18 on the road. The two home games are a mid-week short series with the Royals following a big early series in Washington D.C. Their first six games are at home and conclude at home with the start of a seven-game home stand.

Braves’ fans should mark April 12-14 on your calendars. That will be the first time the perceived favorites in the NL East square off in Washington D.C. The Braves have an off day Thursday, April 11, so look for Gonzalez to use that to set up the rotation for the series. The Nationals took three of five games between the two teams this spring training. But those games mean nothing now.

It’s a daunting first month for the Atlanta Braves. Consistency from the rotation will be key to avoiding losing streaks. Fans will soon know just how good this Braves’ team is and looks to be a fun and competitive first month of the season.