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Braves 2023 Mid-Season Report

The Atlanta Braves have faced their fair share of adversity this season, with injuries impacting key players, yet they stay at the top of MLB.

The Atlanta Braves have long been a powerhouse in Major League Baseball, and the 2023 season is no exception. Despite facing a series of injuries to key players, the Braves have rallied behind their depth and talent to remain competitive and climb up the win column. With standout performances from their top batters and impressive contributions from their backups, the Braves are proving that they have what it takes to overcome adversity and continue their winning ways.

The Dominance of Ronald Acuña Jr.

At the forefront of the Braves’ success is OF Ronald Acuña Jr. After recovering from a season-ending injury last year, Acuña has come back with a vengeance, showcasing his incredible skills and leading the team to victory. 

Acuña has a batting average of .337, with 117 hits and a remarkable OPS of 1.008. Not only does he consistently get on base, but he also leads the league in runs scored, demonstrating his ability to make an impact on the game. 

Acuña’s performance has solidified his position as one of the league’s top players and has undoubtedly been a driving force behind the Braves’ success. The Venezuelan is the first player ever to have 20 home runs and 40 stolen bases before the All-Star Break.

Matt Olson: A Homegrown MVP Candidate

Another key player who has been instrumental in the Braves’ success this season is 1B Matt Olson. As a Georgia native, Olson has quickly become a fan favorite and a strong contender for the NL MVP title. 

Despite having an alarming number of strikeouts, Olson has maintained an impressive batting average of .254 and an OPS of .938. He leads the National League in home runs (29) and RBIs (70). Olson’s offensive prowess and ability to drive in runs have been crucial to the Braves’ victories, making him an invaluable asset to the team.

Austin Riley’s Consistent Excellence

Batting third in the lineup is 3B Austin Riley, who has been a pillar of consistency for the Braves over the past three seasons. Riley’s performance this year has been strong but not phenomenal, with 16 home runs, 44 RBIs, and a .787 OPS to his name. 

Despite his occasional struggles with strikeouts, Riley has consistently delivered clutch hits and has established himself as a perennial MVP candidate in the National League. His ability to come through in crucial moments has been instrumental in the Braves’ success, and his continued excellence is a testament to his talent and determination.

While his offense is always something to admire, it is Riley’s defensive ability that has him on his way to his second All-Star Game. He is fielding at one of the most important positions on the field. His great coverage allows pitchers to be able to pitch comfortably knowing he has their back.

The Depth of the Braves’ Rotation

One of the most impressive aspects of the Braves’ success has been the contributions of their backup players. With injuries plaguing the team’s starters. SP Max Fried and SP Kyle Wright suffered injuries that landed them on the 60-day IL and with that many fans of the Braves were terrified to see what would come of it.

When Max Fried was injured on Opening Day, the Atlanta Braves called up SP Bryce Elder. Elder currently leads the league in ERA and has been nothing but lights out for the team. Elder has been at the brunt of many jokes online as people make fun of his sabermetric numbers being less than ideal. Jokes aside, it has been insane to see his complete dominance despite 30-grade velocity.

Elder was the first but not the last of pitchers to come up for the Braves and completely dominate. SPs Dylan Dodd, Jared Schuster, AJ Smith-Shawver, and Kolby Allard are all names that have gotten the call to take over on any given day when the Braves have a big question mark in the rotation.

Team Trip to Seattle

The Atlanta Braves have set a franchise record by sending eight players to the All-Star Game in Seattle. Matt Olson, 2B Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and SPs Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder were all informed by Braves manager Brian Snitker that they made the team. These five players will join Ronald Acuña Jr., C Sean Murphy, and SS Orlando Arcia, who were elected by fans to be in the National League’s starting lineup. This will be the first time in Braves history that they have had eight All-Stars in one season.

The entire Braves infield will be part of the NL roster, making it a special moment for infield coach Ron Washington. The Braves’ selections account for 25% of the NL’s 32-man roster. Elder, who began the season in Triple-A, has had a remarkable season with the best ERA in the NL. Strider has emerged as an exciting pitcher, leading the Majors in strikeouts.

Looking Ahead: The Future of the Braves

The Atlanta Braves have proven time and time again that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level. With a roster filled with talent, depth, and an unwavering determination to succeed, the future looks bright for this team. Fans can look forward to exciting games and memorable performances as the Braves strive to bring home another title. Looking to the near future, it is essential that the Braves bring in an additional bullpen arm. If the Braves can add on a true closer to an already dominant pen, teams are in real trouble.

The Atlanta Braves have faced their fair share of adversity this season, with injuries impacting key players. However, the team’s depth and talent have allowed them to overcome these challenges and remain competitive. The dominant performances of Acuña, Olson, and Riley have been instrumental in the team’s success, while the contributions of backup players have added another layer of depth to the roster. As the regular starters return from injury, the Braves will face the pleasant dilemma of having excess talent, which will only strengthen the team’s chances of success. With the future looking bright, Braves fans can be confident that their team has what it takes to compete at the highest level and bring home another championship.

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