Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 7/19/13
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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker