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Atlanta Braves' second-half preview: Consistency is key

Verducci's Quick Pitch: Atlanta Braves

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci previews the second half of the MLB season for the Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta Braves

Record: 52-43

Standing: Tied for 1st in NL East

Team Leaders: 

Batting Average: Freddie Freeman, .295

Home Runs: Justin Upton, 17

ERA: Julio Teheran, 2.71

The Braves are tied for first in the National League East, but they have been a very streaky team in the first half. Atlanta's bullpen has struggled, in part because of injuries to David Carpenter and Jordan Walden, but also because players like Luis Avilan aren't pitching well.

Dan Uggla, who is batting .162 with 2 home runs and 10 RBIs in 48 games this season, was suspended for the Braves' final game before the All-Star break. Manager Fredi Gonzalez declined to say why, and said the matter would be handled internally. Rookie Tommy La Stella has been seeing more playing time at second base since he was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett on May 28.

- Sarah Barshop

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