The Atlanta Braves are just hours away from beginning their 2013 campaign as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves will be fielding a new look team. Chipper Jones will not be in the starting lineup for the first time since the early 90s. Instead, the Braves will turn to Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton to lead them into a new era that features a young, talented and athletic roster. What can Braves’ fans expect from this new look roster in 2013?
That’s the million dollar question and what makes Opening Day great. At this point, nobody truly knows what to expect.
Would anyone have predicted the Baltimore Orioles would make a postseason run in 2012? Could anyone imagine Mike Trout emerging as one of the top players in the game? Even the Houston Astros–a team that has a payroll smaller than Alex Rodriguez’s contract–got an 8-2 Opening Day win against an American League contender in the Texas Rangers. On this day, each team has hope.
On paper, the Braves look to have a team ready to challenge the Washington Nationals for the National League East division. On paper, the Braves have arguably the most talented outfield in baseball. But the games aren’t played on paper. Fans and experts have given their opinions on what to expect around the MLB in 2013, but it isn’t until today where we start learning about these teams.
I’d expect the Braves to be in the playoff hunt all season. They have the talent to do so, but this is what makes Opening Day so great. Nobody truly knows what to expect. It’s time to find out Braves’ fans.