2004 Brave Predictions

BravesCenter.com Publisher Kyle Hawkins, Editor Bill Shanks, and Special Correspondent Jason Walker with their predictions for the 2004 baseball season.

AL East

HAWKINS: Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Devil Rays
WALKER: Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Devil Rays
SHANKS: Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Devil Rays


AL Central

HAWKINS: Twins, Royals, Indians, White Sox, Tigers
WALKER: Royals, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Tigers
SHANKS: Royals, Twins, White Sox, Tigers, Indians

AL West

HAWKINS: Angels, A's, Mariners, Rangers
WALKER: A's, Mariners, Angels, Rangers
SHANKS: Angels, A's, Mariners, Rangers


AL Wild Card

HAWKINS: Red Sox
WALKER: Red Sox
SHANKS: Red Sox


NL East

HAWKINS: Braves, Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Expos
WALKER: Braves, Marlins, Phillies, Expos, Mets
SHANKS: Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Expos, Mets


NL Central

HAWKINS: Astros, Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, Brewers
WALKER: Cubs, Astros, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Brewers
SHANKS: Cubs, Astros, Cardinals, Pirates, Brewers, Reds


NL West

HAWKINS: Padres, Dodgers, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants
WALKER: Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies
SHANKS: Padres, Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies


NL Wild Card

HAWKINS: Cubs
WALKER: Astros
SHANKS: Astros


AL Champion

HAWKINS: Yankees
WALKER: Yankees
SHANKS: Red Sox


NL Champion

HAWKINS: Cubs
WALKER: Cubs
SHANKS: Cubs


World Series Champs

HAWKINS: Yankees
WALKER: Yankees
SHANKS: Cubs


NL Batting Champion

HAWKINS: Albert Pujols
WALKER: Todd Helton
SHANKS: Jeff Bagwell


AL Batting Champion

HAWKINS: Garret Anderson
WALKER: Ichiro Suzuki
SHANKS: Vladimir Guerrero


NL MVP

HAWKINS: Albert Pujols
WALKER: Barry Bonds
SHANKS: Sammy Sosa


AL MVP:

HAWKINS: Vladimir Guerrero
WALKER: Alex Rodriguez
SHANKS: Alex Rodriguez


NL CY Young Award

HAWKINS: Roy Oswalt
WALKER: John Smoltz
SHANKS: Kerry Wood


AL CY Young Award

HAWKINS: Curt Schilling
WALKER: Tim Hudson
SHANKS: Javier Vazquez


NL Rookie of the Year

HAWKINS: Adam LaRoche
WALKER: Adam LaRoche
SHANKS: Adam LaRoche


AL Rookie of the Year

HAWKINS: Joe Mauer
WALKER: Bobby Crosby
SHANKS: Bobby Crosby


First Manager Fired:

HAWKINS: Buck Showalter
WALKER: Larry Bowa
SHANKS: Bob Brenly


What will the Braves record be this season?

HAWKINS: 90-72 1st in the East.
WALKER: 94-68, 1st in the East.
SHANKS: 92-70, 1st in the East.


Which Braves minor leaguer is most likely to come up and have an impact this year?

HAWKINS: Going to go with Dave Nilsson. The Aussie still has game.
WALKER: Trey Hodges. He's been there, done that. Ole #6 usually doesn't shake the lineup enough to warrant a position player making a midseason impact, so Hodges might be needed if a couple of the bullpen arms go down.
SHANKS: Brian Moehler will win four games after August 1st.


Which Brave is most likely to surprise?

HAWKINS: Johnny Estrada. He's going to tame the pitching staff with ease.
WALKER: John Thomson. His numbers were overblown in hitter's parks and he'll be surprisingly solid in the middle of the rotation.
SHANKS: Adam LaRoche will show everyone why we've been talking about him for two years.


Most Valuable Brave?

HAWKINS: Andruw Jones.
WALKER: John Smoltz. Without Smoltzy, the patched together pen becomes a concern again.
SHANKS: Chipper Jones. Maddux and Glavine are gone so he needs to become the leader we all expect him to be.


Who will John Schuerholz acquire before the trading deadline?

HAWKINS: Jeff Nelson
WALKER: Eric Young
SHANKS: Brian Fuentes


What is the thing to watch for the Braves?

HAWKINS: JD Drew's right knee.
WALKER: The OBP's of Rafael Furcal and Marcus Giles.
SHANKS: What will happen when Paul Byrd comes back?


What is the most overrated concern for the Braves?

HAWKINS: The bullpen. With Reitsma and Cruz aboard, there's no need to harp over Alfonseca.
WALKER: The starting pitching, which is fairly strong and has Byrd coming back in May.
SHANKS: Mark DeRosa. He may not be a star, but he'll be fine as our third baseman until Marte is ready.

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