Oddsmaker says Braves’ win total will be ‘low 70s’ — what say you?

Evan Gattis is one of three everyday players lost from Braves’ everyday lineup. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Freddie Freeman and Braves have had reason to be angry, and another may be coming tonight. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

If Freddie Freeman was angry here, just wait until he sees the new lineup. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Braves finished 29th in the majors last season with 573 runs (3.5 per game), and scored none or one or 41 times (25 percent of their games). So the fact they’ve traded three of the players (Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis) who produced most of what little offense they had has led to predictably dire projections.

I spoke to team president John Hart Thursday, who said he feared that, “This club could’ve slipped into the abyss,” if changes were not made. So he and assistant general manager John Coppolella have focused on changing the makeup of the team and switching from a home-run-or-strikeout, all-or-nothing approach to one with more contact hitters — all of which sounds great if the roster is loaded with proven hitters.

Coppolella, the GM of the future and somewhat even today, is an interesting guy with a fascinating background. To read the full column on him, click this link.

I understand the Braves’ approach for the long term. But I don’t share Hart’s and Coppolella’s optimism for the short term. Las Vegas sportsbooks are probably a month away from coming out with official over/under win projections for each major league team, but I decided I couldn’t wait that long. So I contacted pal Todd Fuhrman, the former oddsmaker at Caesars Palace who now works for Fox Sports.

His projection for the Braves: a win total in the “low 70s.”

“Braves fans looking for big things this year might want to temper thos‎e expectations,” he said. “Expect their win total to open in the low 70’s with so many fresh faces being called on to produce. If the pitching doesn’t hold up there will be major issues given an offense laden with more questions than answers.”

That’s what he thinks. What do you think?

You can comment below and/or vote in a poll. There is a chance the Braves will make at least one more move for a left fielder. But based on what you see now, how many games do you believe this team will win?


A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Braves’ moves carry Coppolella’s fingerprints
— AJC: There goes Evan Gattis as Braves take another big hit
— AJC: Quinn was tabbed as ‘Next Great Coach’ but can Falcons get him?
— AJC: UPDATE: Bowles goes to Jets but if Falcons get Quinn it won’t matter
— AJC: Falcons should talk to John Fox before making decision on Quinn, Bowles
— AJC: Rex Ryan going to Buffalo — and that’s not bad news for Falcons
— AJC: Nick Saban, the mercenary, takes on ex-Bulldog Jonathan Taylor
— MyAJC: Falcons’ backdrop not comforting for coaching search
— AJC: Falcons’ changes: Pioli’s role increases, so what does this mean for Dimitroff?
— AJC: How’s this scenario: Falcons vs. Giants and Mike Smith’s defense in 2015?
— MyAJC: Smoltz just wanted to survive, but he did so much more
— AJC John Smoltz, a Hall of Famer on many levels, gets the call
— AJC: Hall of Fame: Smoltz, 7 others checked on my ballot
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon mocks FSU, Winston with “No means No” chant
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: After 29 straight wins, Florida State morphs into grease fire
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Is FSU most hated great team in college history?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon’s Helfrich credits Falcons’ Koetter for his success
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Will Jameis Winston prove to be worth risk in NFL?
— MyAJC: It’s Arthur Blank’s show now, and that could be a problem?
— AJC: Falcons fire Smith, keep Dimitroff, and here are some candidates
— MyAJC: Falcons are done and so is Mike Smith

Reader Comments 0

162 comments
Lovebaseball
Lovebaseball

SAD, but the 2015 season will be a LOSER. They will be LUCKY to win 70 games. They will loose over 100 games, so I think the odds makers about 70 games sounds right. Then you have such a good manager in the big Freddie G. HA HA  All this sounds like a disastrous year. There is some good news if the Braves will do it.  Since the team and management are SOO BAD now, why don't the Braves fire all of their announcers except Chip Carrey, and bring up Don Sutton from radio. At least we will have the games called a lot better if this happens. And, the other good news is that we can see the "Other team" when they come to Atlanta, that is, if they don't keep raising ticket prices. REGARDLESS, thank goodness baseball is around the corner, and it ought to be a very interesting year except for the Braves. Looks like a lot of teams are very much improved. Maybe 3 to 5 years for the braves. .

Scroach
Scroach

I wonder how much today's players really listen to a hitting coach?    What happens if the player does

not listen to the hitting coach?     Last year both hitting coaches "left" and we hired a new coach who

we hope will help.    I don't think anyone could have helped Dan Uggla and I doubt if our new coach

will be able to helpl Upton.   I hope I am wrong.   I can see the Braves winning 70 games and 

attendance falling.     Wait till next year.

gfw
gfw

Here's my (related) question: are we starting a .210-.225 center fielder, who can't even walk a respectable number of times, because we're paying him so much money, or are we going to improve the team and its chances of winning by starting someone (almost anyone) else?  If it's the former, I'd be surprised by 70 wins.  If it's the latter, and a new mind-set is in evidence in the Braves management, who knows? Could be surprisingly good.  We'll see.

Termigator
Termigator

The only reason to buy a ticket this year would to be able to boo BJ in person. They win no more than 75 games.

David D.
David D.

They will need 81 Bobble head giveaways to reach 2 million fans...I suggest a Jeff Schultz Bobble head night  !!

JamesRobinson
JamesRobinson

I believe the 2015 Braves will be competitive.......with their AAA Gwinnett team.  Maybe they could opt out of the NL and play a two-team schedule locally.  It would certainly save a lot on airline and hotel expenses.

Mery Eva
Mery Eva

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UKUGA
UKUGA

Attendance will stink the next 2 years.  I expect really bad this year, with potential for a slight uptick in 2016 if A) nostalgia kicks in and people want to see TF one last time, and B) the team shows some life and improvement over 2015.  


By 2016 . . .


Freeman, Simmons, Peraza, and our pitching could all be well worth the price of admission (which is not that bad when you take advantage of buy  1/get 1 offers).  

redweather
redweather

I am more optimistic about the Braves in 2015.  First, their record would not have been nearly as bad last year if they hadn't gone into a season-ending swoon.  And that swoon was driven, in large part, by how often batters failed to do anything with runners in scoring position.  If the new lineup does a better job in that department, I think the Braves could finish above .500.  Their pitching, barring injuries, still looks like it will be solid, and that is half the battle. 

Jerry916
Jerry916

Bad TV contract that "supposedly" has been renegotiated, poor drafting, bad contracts (D Lowe, KK, Uggs, and BJ) bad Front Office decisions have ruined this franchise.


Who on this roster will stir people to come to the ballpark?

UKUGA
UKUGA

@Jerry916 All that was renegotiated was the 35, or so games that were on Peachtree TV.   

Fox Sports now has the rights to those games, and presumably paid market for them.  

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

Soooo they won 79 games last year and with the subtractions in the lineup they are only going to be 9 games worse? I don't see that happening. I see them more in the 60 range tops. This team could rival the Astros from 2-3 years ago.


Deficient offense plus above average starting pitching equals worn out and over worked bullpen.

DIT
DIT

Been off these blogs for some time. I was hoping to see the Ole Freddie was one of the many Braves that were traded......... Crap, nope, disaster is still looming

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

If we pass70 it will be better than I expect. I was guessing about a 67-95 type season. Now the Nats have Max Scherzer to make matters worse.

RON BOONE
RON BOONE

THIS TEAM IS A COMPLETE JOKE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, scherholtz and hart MUST BE FIRED, THEY HAVE KILLED THIS TEAM FOR THE NEXT 10-15 YEARS AND THEY ACT.... ACT.... LIKE THEY ARE KNOW IT ALLS, NOT.


ANY HIGH SCHOOL PITCHER CAN BEAT THIS CRAP TEAM, COULD NOT SCORE LAST YEAR, TRADE WHAT DECENT HITTERS WERE ON TEAM FOR A BUNCH OF NOBODY NOTHING prospects WHO WILL NEVER DO A DAMN THING IN ATLANTA. I AM DONE WATCHING OR ATTENDING GAMES, I WISH THEY WOULD MOVE AND WE START OVER. 60 YEARS HERE NOW AND ONE WS, A DISGRACE ! FIRE scherholtz & hart NOW THEY HAVE NO INTEREST IN WINNING, NONE !

northbysoutheast
northbysoutheast

@RON BOONE A ca. $90 million team has little chance of great success these days. If you want to blame somebody, then blame the short-sighted architects of the sale that landed the Braves with one of (if not THE) worst TV deals in the country. That sale and media mergers took a team with nationwide appeal and squandered it.

Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

As I predicted on the Evan Gattis blog...maybe 70 games, and John Hart will be gone by the time the Braves move into their new stadium. I agree with FireJohnCoppy, both Johns have built this team into the abyss.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

John Hart and John Coppeloser have built this team into the abyss

tmc
tmc

"John Hart Thursday, who said he feared that, “This club could’ve slipped into the abyss,” if changes were not made."


if several of the prospects they received in trades for Heyward, J Upton & Gattis do not become more than a "cup of coffee" contritubtors, the "abyss" John Hart talks about will be a reality for the next decade.

What Hart, teflon John and Bobby Cox fail to realize is that the Braves have already fallen into the first year of an at least 3-4 year abyss.

Every fan knows too that the only way out for the foreseeable future is getting #2 off this team.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@tmc 


If # 2 gets off to a good start and has a real good first half you might get your wish


But he is not all of the organization's problems - even if they move his salary you really think they are reinvesting that money with good players


Doubt it

crm300
crm300

Gattis would have improved his trade value with a big season in left field.  Team had control of him for another 4 years.  Team got basically nothing for him.  Ok, he got hurt often, but that might have had something to do with crouching that big frame behind the plate.  As a left fielder, he surely would not have been any worse than that airhead, no hustle J Upton.  I will still watch all of the games and agonize over every loss, just has I have done for almost 60 years.  This is not a home run game anymore, it might be a little more entertaining to see them put the ball in play instead of trying to hit the Coke sign with every swing.  Don't like the moves that Hart has made, but something had to be done.  We shall see what happens.

HarMul
HarMul

@crm300 Flip it the other way, Gattis gets injured (back or knee) while playing outfield in spring training. He has multiple visits to DL, now he has no value and you trade him for a bullpen arm. I was on your side of the argument a few weeks back but thinking long term, I don't think it is wise to wait for Gattis to hit 40 HR in a season before trading him since his past shows that there is an injury risk with him.

RON BOONE
RON BOONE

@tmc @crm300  Agree, NOBODY will attend and I bet attendance will be less than a million next 5-6 years all because, Like Thrashers did, they keep people in place who should have been FIRED long long ago. This scherholtz is the teams BIGGEST PROBLEM, as long as he is there, this team will STINK ! I will NEVER attend another Braves game, EVER !

NormanWhite
NormanWhite

@RON BOONE @tmc @crm300 Your comments have no basis in reality.  Even in one of their worst years, 1981 (a strike shortened year) they still drew over a million.  Glad to hear you'll never attend another game, more seats for others.

tmc
tmc

@crm300 i can see both sides, but when you give away Heyward & JUpton for mediocre talent...  i believe Gattis was one of the few players that held real value to any other club. He made little to no money (relatively speaking) and control for 4 years. With his production and these two attributes should have done one of two things: 1. either brought back an everyday talent and a prospect or two. Or 2. gotten rid of the huge problem in #2 and a prospect or two. Neither was done. Why?

Because the Braves brass (Hart, JS & BC) were determined to rid them selves of talent to build the farm system. This will prove to hurt the club for many years. I get it with Heyward and Upton, but not for Gattis. Gattis and Kimbrel (if they trade) should bring big returns. I don't call 3 prospects of two minor league pitchers and a single A thrid baseman big returns at all. 

The focus seems to be improving the minors and hoping that turns into major league talent... instead of improving the major league club and building the minors in the process. Happy empty stadium Braves brass!

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Nationals are all in for 2015 and beyond they just signed Max Scherzer.

tmc
tmc

@Buschleaguer 15 million for 14 years... WOW, that is just unbelievable.

McCullar
McCullar

The pitching will keep the Braves close but the offense looks hopeless. .500 finish, tops.  Yes .500 is an improvement over last season but even with a pathetic offense they should score more runs than last year, which hurt to watch.


Even so, I'll be there for 5-7 games or so, same as every year.


For the record, I was calling for Wren to get fired three years ago.  And I was horrified by the Teixeira trade when it was done years ago.  So yes, I LOVE what Hart and Copp have done with the farm system, really remarkable.




RON BOONE
RON BOONE

@McCullar  SERIOUSLY ? I bet 40-122 in 2015 and about the same in 2016/2017/2018, until this IDIOT hart and Super IDIOT scherholtz are Fired, there is NO Hope whatsoever, I will never attend again  raking leaves better than having anything to do with this CRAP team, trade them to Winnipeg and bring Thrashers back home !

tekila1
tekila1

What did the oddsmakers have for the hawks Schultz? What did the braves accomplish last season Schultz?

You act like they won the NL championship. Who cares about what they just gave up. Their offense was awful. New guys were needed. Would you rather bring in the same slew of boredom and ineptness that we endured last season???

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@tekila1  A different type of boredom (you just thought last year was bad) and even more ineptness for 2015. 

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

This is almost like one of those experiments you read about in other walks of life. Sort of like if you were to line up some major-league pitchers and then get eight guys in street clothes that you picked up from downtown Atlanta and put them in the lineup would they win any games?

When you look at it that way, maybe this team will be fun to watch?

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Somebody get me Julio Franco's number, I think maybe we could use him for a season! At least, in a perverted way we can finally say that BJ Upton is one of the finest hitters on this team!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

The Gattis trade was unnecessary. John Hart has now pretty much blown up this team and is completely starting over. I honestly did not see this much of a rebuild coming. While I couldn't stand Frank Wren, I didn't necessarily expect the team to go this route either.

vesaversa
vesaversa

They aren't even close . I don't believe the Braves  will win 50 games .

Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

Have some of you forgotten how pathetic this team was last season? Why do you think the loss of Gattis, J Up, and Heyward makes much of a difference with this band of nitwits?

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@Maggot_Man 


They were not really pathetic till the last month of the season


No one anticipated that September collapse. 


Not saying they shoulda or woulda made the playoffs but this should have been a mid 80's win team


They were not that far away from post season had it not been for that collapse and they did have 94 and 96 wins in 12 and 13

TNScott
TNScott

@FireJohnCoppy @Maggot_Man If you didn't foresee a possible September collapse, then you must not have seen the up/down nature of this team throughout the regular season, or forgotten that the manager who was there for the collapse of 2011 was the same manager in the collapse of 2014.

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

“This club could’ve slipped into the abyss,...”

This club will spend at least the next couple of seasons in the abyss. Congrats Cobb County taxpayers. 

Home Team Critic
Home Team Critic

I am not renewing my 20 game season tickets (3) and parking which adds another $200 (not to mention gasoline to get there). 

Those who want to spend their money on this unnecessarily blown up team, please be my guest.

If I do not like the product, calling me a poor fan will not get me to buy it.

If you like helping pay off BJ's 15 million/year while the much better players were moved, go ahead.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@GTQBdefender 


I will spend my money and can choose to root for the opponent cause I love MLB it does not have to be the Braves


But you have the absolute right to hang on to your hard earned money -- I understand


I just do not have the emotional attachment to this team due to the corporate ownership just an attachment to MLB and a bad MLB team is better than no MLB team at all


Remember the Thrashers and what happened

HaroldPIppus
HaroldPIppus

@GTQBdefender better players were moved because somone would actually take them no one wants bj worst player in all baseball

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Im gonna support em. Im more concerned about a Reed aide telling them, they have nowhere else to go. Is that boob still employed? We need to know his name......he's mostly responsible for this mess.

Baseballfan08
Baseballfan08

I mean good lord. Everyone go buy your milk and bread ASAP the world is ending. Find out what being a true fan is. If you consider yourself one then you're with your teams through the ups and downs. True fans were with the braves back in 1990,1991 when they were infamously worst to first. Look up the 1991 team and see if on paper that team was supposed to achieve that much. I believe it had a lot of young pitching, and I'll admit I wasn't old enough to see it personally, but i've been involved and around long enough to see the heart of that unit carried us through the 90s as a forced to be reckoned with. Playing Beane ball with young prospects has been shown to be beneficial. My only suggestion is wait and see. You can't be so sensitive to throw all your eggs in one basket after a single off-season of moves. The angels made a huge splash 2-3 years ago and they still haven't won it all since that move. Everyone always making the highest or lowest possible claims after a move, need I remind you when we brought in Uggla. He'll hit 90 HRs in a season!!! Lets get behind these young players and see their talent and encourage them to grow. They've been rated highly for a reason. Lets appreciate the team and this game because fans support and enjoyment are what this game is about. If you don't encourage them to grow then we might never see their full potential, and that has to start with you being in the stands yelling, "GO BRAVES." 

HarMul
HarMul

@FireJohnCoppy 

There is always a few of the fans who start screaming about firing even before the season starts. Your statements show that you are not a true fan and also that you have no understanding of how a baseball team is built. 

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@Baseballfan08 


These young players are nothing -- John Coppy is selling us a line of garbage and I am going to the games to appreciate the opponents good baseball cause as long as this garbage ownership and this nerd of a fool Coppeloser is in charge the Braves will have a losing team for the next thousand yrs