As the Braves return to action from the All-Star break, they’re generally viewed – at least for the moment – as one of MLB’s five best teams.
That’s the consensus of a half-dozen sets of midseason “power rankings” we surveyed this week.
Rankings by ESPN, CBS Sports, Sporting News and Bleacher Report peg the Braves No. 5 among the 30 MLB teams – behind, in slightly varying orders, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. MLB.com ranks the Braves No. 4 (ahead of the Twins), while Sports Illustrated ranks the Braves No. 6 (with the Tampa Bay Rays at No. 5).
In all six sets of rankings, the Braves are the second highest regarded NL team behind the Dodgers.
Vegas oddsmakers now have the Braves as the fifth most likely team to win the World Series this year, putting their odds at 13/1, according to Vegas Insider. The Dodgers are the current favorite to win the Series at 13/4 odds, followed by the Yankees at 19/5, Astros at 9/2 and Twins at 11/1.
The Braves have gained stature by winning eight of their past nine series and splitting the other. They haven’t lost a series since June 4-6 in Pittsburgh. They have a 54-37 record and a six-game lead over the second-place (and resurgent) Washington Nationals in the NL East.
After a four-day break, the Braves resume play Friday night in San Diego, with Dallas Keuchel on the mound for the opener of a three-game series.
RELATED READING …
> The Braves’ local TV ratings increased slightly in the first half of the season, building on last year’s large gains. See story here.
> We had 10 questions about the Braves before the start of the season. Now we have the midseason answers to those same questions. See story here.
> How Ender Inciarte and Bryse Wilson fared for the Gwinnett Stripers on Thursday night.
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