While the Braves are 3rd in the league in home runs, their real talent lies in their pitching staff. Atlanta has won more games than anyone in 2013, but they are also 3rd in team ERA, 3rd in saves, 4th in opposing batting average and 2nd in WHIP. Their pitching was supreme again today against the hot-hitting Cardinals, who are in the top 5 in almost every offensive category, yet could only muster a single run against Braves pitching.
With such excellent pitching, the Braves haven’t needed a ton of run support. They are 10th in the league in runs scored, but that hasn’t mattered since opposing teams have even more trouble scoring against Atlanta pitching. Atlanta starter Mike Minor allowed just one run on six hits over seven strong innings today, earning his 13th win of the season. The Braves have lost their last three games and are 5-5 in their last 10, but it looked like they righted the ship today with a solid victory over a good team.
Atlanta leads the NL East by a whopping 12 games, so barring an epic September meltdown they should easily cruise into the postseason. They lost to the Cardinals in the single-game NL Wild Card game last year and are obviously looking to go much deeper into October this year.