Previewing the Atlanta Braves’ Month of June

Brian McCann Atlanta Braves

Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

The Atlanta Braves (32-22) finished another tough month in May with a winning record (15-13) and still hold a 4.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals in the National League East.

The Braves took their lumps in May, but overall it’s hard to complain about the position they find themselves in.

On paper, June looks to be more favorable to the Braves than the past two months.

Can they take advantage of that?

Opponents: Nationals (2), Pittsburgh Pirates, at Los Angeles Dodgers (4), at San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets (5), at Milwaukee Brewers, at Kansas City Royals (2), Arizona Diamondbacks.

Splits: 16 home games, 12 away games.

Series to Watch: June 3-5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Braves begin the month of June by finishing up their three-game series with the Nationals and beginning another tough series with the Pirates.

The series with the Pirates should be fun to watch with the Pirates playing good baseball. They trail the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central, but have the second best record in the National League at 34-21. Despite losing on Friday, the Pirates have won 13 of their last 17 games, including taking three of four from the Detroit Tigers. Pittsburgh took three of four from Atlanta in Pittsburgh, so the Braves will look to return the favor at Turner Field.

June also features the defending World Series champion Giants on the schedule as they come to Turner Field. The Giants also took three of four from the Braves earlier this season and should be another series for the Braves to prove they can compete with the best in the National League.

The Braves conclude an eight-game homestand with a rare five-game series with the Mets. The two teams will make up a rained out game from May 4 in a doubleheader on June 18.

Fans should also look forward to the concluding series with the Diamondbacks in Atlanta. This will be the first time fan-favorite Martin Prado will return after being traded to the Diamondbacks this offseason. The Diamondbacks have proven to be for real as they currently sit atop the National League West with a 30-24 record.

Overall, the month of June looks manageable with four opponents having a record better than .500. The majority of their games are at Turner Field where they have a National League-best 16-7 record. The Braves are also hoping to get Brandon Beachy back in mid-June to help bolster the starting rotation.

The Braves need to take advantage of the schedule lightening up a bit and winning 16-18 games should be a realistic expectation for this team.

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