2013 NLDS: Braves offense & 3 true outcomes

Justin Upton led the Braves with 27 home runs - Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves led the National League in home runs, tied for the lead in strikeouts and were second in walks in 2013.

I am the first one to say that the regular season means nothing once the first pitch is thrown on Thursday. But a season is an acceptable sample size so I am taking a look at what the Atlanta Braves did at the plate in 2013.

The first thing that stands out is their league-leading 181 home runs. The Braves had eight hitters with 12 or more home runs, and assuming Brian McCann's hamstring is okay on Thursday, expect all eight to be in the starting lineup against Clayton Kershaw.

A quirk for the Braves is that their monthly home run total declined each month though they were able to keep their scoring around four runs per game during this decline.

The Braves strike out a lot, tied with the Mets for the league lead with 1.384 strikeouts. Atlanta has four players that will likely start every game (Justin Upton, Freeman, Uggla and Chris Johnson) with 116 or more strikeouts this season, plus Evan Gattis who struck out 81 times in 382 plate appearances.

They also walk at a good rate, especially Upton, Uggla, Freeman and Jason Heyward. The Braves finished second in the NL with 542 walks.

On the season the Braves hit .249/.321/.402, a 97 OPS+ that tied for fifth in the National League, with a BABIP of .300. The Braves' isolated power rate of .153 was second to the Cubs in the NL, and were fourth in the league at 4.25 runs per game.

The Braves hit .235/.321/.380 against left-handed pitchers, good for seventh best in the NL. Johnson fared the best among Braves against southpaws (.383/.413/.526), and Justin Upton hit 10 of his 27 home runs against lefties.

The Braves did not hit all that well in August (.245/.318/.379) or September (.235/.306/.377) but still averaged slightly more than a home run per game. The Braves used the home run to create 42.4% of their runs in 2013 (the Dodgers were at 31.8% of their runs came via the home run). So more than most, keeping the ball in the yard will be a good start to beating the Braves in this series.

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