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Atlanta Braves: Lather, Rinse, Repeat From 2022

Spencer Strider pitches at home for the Atlanta Braves.

For the 2023 season, the Atlanta Braves put together a great regular season akin to 2022 but suffered a quick playoff exit.

Statistically, the Atlanta Braves gained three more wins from 2023 compared to 2022. But once again, they were bounced in the National League Division Series. Atlanta plans on running it back again, however, in 2024.

Whether it be offense or pitching, the Braves are turning into a dynamo. And, remember, Atlanta is two years removed from a World Series win in 2021.

That team eliminating the Braves in back-to-back postseasons? None other than their divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies. While the 100-plus win seasons are nice, Atlanta now appears to have a hurdle to clear.

The excitement that their pitching and offense can bring will draw a lot of fans to Truist Park. Atlanta had the fourth-best attendance in the 2023 season, with almost 3.2 million fans attending their games, or an average of just over 39,400 a game. All the shopping in The Battery helps, as well.

So how can the Atlanta Braves recapture their championship glory from 2021? And what do they need to do this offseason? Let’s march into Braves Country to take a deeper look…

Offense Sees Major Improvement

After being a middle-of-the-pack offensive unit in 2022, Atlanta’s O took a major step forward in 2023.

Looking at the statistics, the Braves were the highest scorers (947 runs), best-hitting (1543 hits, .276 team batting average), and most powerful team (307 home runs) in the National League in 2023.

Atlanta also sports an NL-best team slash line of .276/.344/.501. They hit the third-most doubles (293), and the most total bases of any Senior Circuit team (2803).

One of the big reasons behind the success of Atlanta’s offense is rising star OF Ronald Acuña Jr. In his fifth full season, Acuña put together a career-best year.

He set new personal bests in hits (217), total bases (383), and a whopping 73 stolen bases. He became the first-ever member of the 40-70 club with those 73 stolen bases and a tie for his career-high home runs with 41.

Acuña also got a career-high 106 RBIs, a .337 batting average, .416 on-base percentage, .596 slugging percentage, and a 1.012 OPS. Those statistics deservedly earned him a fifth consecutive All-Star nod, a Silver Slugger, and the National League MVP.

2023: A Breakout Year for Another Star

Another guy who had an electric year in 2023 was 1B Matt Olson. In his second season with the Braves, Olson erupted as a true power hitter.

Looking at the final statistics, the 29-year-old Georgia native hit a very impressive 54 home runs and 139 RBIs. Also in the big numbers were a career-high 172 hits, .283 batting average, and .389 on-base percentage.

Olson finished fourth in NL MVP voting, while also being an All-Star and a Silver Slugger. When looking to the future, Matt Olson looks to be a cornerstone at first base.

The offense continues to be the big draw these days, and the Atlanta Braves certainly have plenty of offense to boot.

The pitching unit also can hold their own, and they have a steady unit to work with.

Atlanta Braves Pitching Staff Solid as Ever

Sure, while some of their numbers may have gone down, Atlanta’s pitching staff is still a force to be reckoned with.

Looking at the statistics, the Braves pitchers struck out the most batters in 2023 in the NL with 1516. On the flip side, however, they only had the seventh-best team ERA at 4.14, surrendering 662 earned runs over 1440 innings pitched.

Control issues also began to sprout on the staff in 2023. Atlanta’s overall average WHIP was 1.302, 11 points higher than their 2022 stats.

Another concerning number is an increase in the number of walks. Compared to 500 in 2022, the Braves pitchers surrendered 534 base on balls.

However, one of the pitchers who is emerging into a star is right-hander SP Spencer Strider. For his age-24 season, Strider showed that he is a future ace in the making.

Looking at the stats, Strider tallied an incredible 20-5 win-loss record, a whopping 281 strikeouts in 186.2 innings, and a 3.86 ERA. Those numbers led to him scoring his first career All-Star nomination and a fourth-place finish in NL Cy Young voting.

The 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings also led all Major League pitchers in the 2023 season. He also averaged the lowest walks per nine innings of his career at 2.8, and toted a career-best 4.84 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Iglesias Returns to Top-Flight Closer

After coming over to Atlanta in mid-season 2022, Raisel Iglesias proved he is still a top-level back-end reliever. A 5-4 record with a 2.75 ERA is a solid line, but he converted 33 of 37 save opportunities. For his career, Iglesias is 190 out of 219 in save conversion opportunities, just under 87%. So, he is a consistent guy who can shut the door.

So… What Next?

Overall, the 2023 season feels like a repeat of 2022 for the Atlanta Braves. It remains to be seen if 2024 will hold the same fate. But the hope is to return to World Series form again in 2024. Of course, the goal is to get over the hump of the NL Divisional Round. The team still has plenty of upside to build upon. What’s next for the Atlanta Braves? Only time will tell.


Nate Powalie is a contributor for Back Sports Page. A 2022 graduate of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio), Nate has five years of sports writing experience, and has gotten the chance to call sporting events for radio and live stream. Nate also works as a cashier and can be found on Twitter (@PNate22) and Facebook (Nate Powalie).

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