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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Braves: Alone at the top

Atlanta Braves’ record-breaking season summary
All-Pro Reels / Flickr
Picture of Ronald Acuna Jr.

The Atlanta Braves are on top of the baseball world, as they hold the best record in all the MLB and are favorites to take home the World Series trophy thus far. It is no question that the Atlanta Braves are doing all the right things, being the lone team with 90 wins so far, with three more weeks of play left.  

General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has created a monster of a franchise, with farm system players shining, team-friendly contracts and great clubhouse guys that make every baseball fan wish they were an Atlanta Braves fan.  

It is hard to believe a team has had so much success with so many impactful injuries that have occurred throughout the season. Max Fried struggling multiple times this season with injury was one of the biggest things the Braves had to overcome this season.  

The southpaw ace for the Braves has had an amazing career up to this point, and his season was looking to be as advertised until he was placed on the 60-day injured list for a left-forearm strain in early May.  

Fried had missed nearly three months of the season due to this injury. After the All-Star Break he completed his rehab assignment and rejoined the team against the Chicago Cubs.  

The 29-year-old left-hander went six scoreless innings in his first start back, with eight punch outs, and did not allow a single walk. Going three months without a guy like Fried, it is hard to make up that production.  

“Max Fried is a huge part of our pitching staff and currently holds a 6-1 record since his return,” said senior accounting major, Tucker Sutton. “I am surprised the Braves did as well as they did throughout the year without him.”  

Pitchers who have stepped up in place of Fried have been AJ Smith-Shawver, Yonny Chirinos, Bryce Elder, Darius Vines, Allan Winans and Jared Shuster. Elder has solidified a spot in the Braves rotation after his many great outings this season.  

According to the MLB in 2023 Elder has pitched in 27 games, posting a 3.42 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a record of 11-4. Keep in mind Elder was not on the Opening Day roster for the Braves. He might not have the strikeouts or the speed of Spencer Strider, but he makes the star-studded defense work with his pitch-to-contact style.  

Braves top prospect Smith-Shawver had a very respectable stint with the Braves in the month of June. According to the MLB, his stat line was a 4.57 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in only five games pitched. 

The stats are not the flashiest for the average MLB pitcher, but he was drafted in 2021 and is 20 years old. Most of the pitchers his age have not even made their debuts in AAA yet. Smith-Shawver was able to step up and do his job for the time being, as did the other pitchers named.  

While pitching has been a toss-up due to injuries, one thing has remained true with the Braves, and that is their explosive offense. To put in perspective how explosive they are, they are the MLB leaders in runs, batting average, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

The Braves have been hitting home runs at an alarming rate this season. Right now, they have 272 home runs. The next closest teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, with 220 home runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays sit at 205.  

A pitcher’s worst nightmare facing a lineup with the depth of the Braves, who are currently chasing milestones at this point. They sit 35 home runs away from tying the 2019 record set by the Minnesota Twins, and it is only the start of September.  

There is not a single hole in this Braves offense. They have NL MVP front-runner leading off in Ronald Acuna Jr., All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies batting second, All-Star third baseman Austin Riley batting third, MVP candidate and current NL home run leader Matt Olson batting fourth and one of the hottest hitters in baseball in Marcell Ozuna batting fifth. 

Undoubtedly, one of the scariest, if not the scariest, one-through-five hitters in baseball, and that does not even include the rest of the Braves lineup. Not only is the team going for milestones, but they also have individual stats that are worth following.  

Acuna Jr. cemented himself in history by having the first ever 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases. Olson has also had an incredible season, as he continues to chase Andruw Jones’ franchise record of 51 home runs. Olson currently sits at 48 home runs and is three away from the franchise record. He is also batting guys in at a high rate, with 121 runs batted in. Braves fans are going to love having these two guys at the top of the lineup for the future.   

The Braves have got it all figured out,  and it has been a season filled with fireworks thus far.  

“The first week bye will play a big factor if they finish first in the National League,” said sophomore business undecided major, Ryan Collins. “The Braves have many players with years of playoff experience, and I think that will play a factor as well.”  

When diving into all the stats and factors that go into the game of baseball, it is, quite literally, the Braves’ World Series to lose this year. 



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