As The Temperature Heats Up, So Will The Braves

We're in the dog days of summer now. The temperatures are reaching the 100's in some places, not to mention that well-known Atlanta mugginess. This is the time of year where hopes and dreams of holding up the Commissioner's World Series Trophy come to fruit or abruptly end.

Teams' records will fade, while others continue their upward rise. Just like the Mets in 2006 and 2007, teams with playoff aspirations will see those hopes crushed, some on the final day of the season.

Last year, it was the Padres. This year, it could be anyone.

The Diamondbacks, Giants, and Braves are all within 2.5 games of each other. The Giants lead the NL West by 1 game, and trail the Braves by 2.5 in the Wild Card race. 2010 marked the first time the Braves were the wild card winners in Atlanta Braves history. 2011 is shaping up to be theirs as well.

The Diamondbacks have been hot lately, and the Giants and Braves have been faltering. Just like the Pirates and Reds have done this year, I see the Diamondbacks falling out of the playoff race, or at least the Wild Card race. The Giants are too good to fall at the end of the year, and the Braves have the second best record in the NL, behind the MLB leading Phillies. No one knows what will happen in the upcoming 2.5 months left of baseball, but it should be intriguing. I see the Braves finishing second in the East, and 3 games in first in the wild card race, with the D-Backs in second, marking the second time the Braves have won the wild card in as many years. The only way this will happen though, is if the Braves pitching comes back to early season form, and the bats wake up, much like Dan Uggla's did after my installation of the Ugglometer.

Only time will tell, but if anyone is willing to make a bet, it'll be Alex Rodriguez.

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