Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/11/14
ATLANTA -- All three of the Braves All-Stars -- Craig Kimbrel, Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman -- have rejoined the team in Chicago to kick off the second half of the season, one in which the organization is poised to make its second-consecutive playoff appearance for the first time since the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Despite a first half defined, at times, by injuries and inconsistencies, the Bravea hold the largest divisional lead of any team in baseball. That should be considered a positive for a team that has not been (and will not be, really) at full strength. With the pending return of starter Brandon Beachy and marked improvement from key hitters, notably B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward, as the All-Star break drew near, it's presumably going to take a very, very good final 67 games for the Nationals or anyone else to catch up. With that in mind, our Braves writers -- Zach Dillard, Cory McCartney and Jay Clemons -- discuss their impressions of the team to date. Here are the highlights: -- What do the Braves need to improve upon in the second half of the season? Does the hitting or pitching have the more room to grow over the final part of the regular season? -- Are the Braves a true World Series contender? If they were pitted against a team like the Cardinals or Dodgers or Reds, what would be their chances? Does a team need a go-to ace to be considered a title threat? -- What is there to make of Brian McCann's first half of the season? -- Do the Braves need to get off to a similarly hot post-break start? SUBSCRIBE SOCIAL
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FSU’s Egan reported Williams girlfriend's Facebook to cops

Cowboys VP: Tony Romo “very questionable” for Week 9

Report: Warriors sign Klay Thompson to $70M extension

Cubs oust manager Renteria, setting stage for Maddon

Officially official: Michigan's Dave Brandon has resigned

RG3 won't 'try to be a normal quarterback' on Sunday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant, Joseph Randle reportedly argue before practice

DeAngelo Hall re-tore Achilles tendon while making pizza

Madison Bumgarner was once roommates with Russell Wilson

Report: Dave Brandon to resign as Michigan's Athletic Director

Wild's Vanek linked to alleged money laundering scheme

Jets fans start 'Fire John Idzik' website

Carlos Boozer shows up to arena in Halloween costume

Auburn at Ole Miss: Five things you need to know

WATCH: Goran Dragic punks Suns teammates with baby dino

WATCH: Johnny Manziel cusses out referees at Cavs opener

Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons are 'Run DMC'

Analysis: Alex Gordon wouldn't have scored on Game 7 error

Game of the week: Broncos vs. Patriots

November games that will shape the College Football Playoff

WATCH: Flyers equip. manager pulls prank with fake snake

Simi Valley team recreates Sandlot photo for Halloween

Ranking the Top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL

WATCH: Vanilla Ice rocked the halftime show at T'Wolves game

Braves News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Game of the week: Broncos vs. Patriots

Baseball team recreates Sandlot pic

Top 10 QBs in the NFL

McDonald unlikely to face D.V. charge

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.