A few Braves bats are beginning to look like themselves again

MLB: OCT 09 NLDS Phillies at Braves

The story of the 2024 Atlanta Braves through the first half of the season has been an offense that went from being historically great to the bottom of the barrel in a matter of months.

Injuries have not helped Atlanta’s cause. Ronald Acuña Jr. is out for the season with a torn ACL. While Sean Murphy, Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris II, and Austin Riley have all spent time on the IL at different points. Most of those guys are back now, outside of Harris, and a couple of them are beginning to perform like the All-Star versions of themselves heading into the All-Star break.

As it seems every year, when the weather heats up, Austin Riley transforms into the best hitter in baseball. For whatever reason, the Braves third baseman seems to take about a month to get his feet under him each year, and an early-season injury didn’t help in that regard.

On June 13th, Austin Riley was coming off an 0-for-5 performance against the Baltimore Orioles. It dropped his average to .220 on the season to go along with a .618 OPS. Since then (25 games), Riley is hitting .352 with nine homers and a 1.193 OPS. He’s slugging a ridiculous .761 over that stretch, and all of a sudden, his numbers for the year are starting to fall in line. His OPS is now approaching .800, and he’s on pace to finish the year with close to 6 WAR, a number he will eclipse with ease if he stays hot.

Riley is the primary reason the Braves offense has begun to look more like itself of late, but he’s far from the only one. Sean Murphy’s start to 2024 was the stuff of nightmares. He injured his oblique on Opening Day, forcing him to miss two months. On June 17th, he was hitting just .135 with a .408 OPS. Since then (16 games), Murphy is hitting .320 with four homers and an OPS approaching 1.000

Aside from those All-Stars, Adam Duvall has also picked up his game as of late. He’s still hitting below the Mendoza Line on the season, but a two-hit performance on Tuesday, which included a three-run homer, capped off an 11-game stretch in which he hit .310 with a couple of homers and a .903 OPS.

Even without Ronald Acuña Jr. the Braves have enough firepower on offense to be a problem this season, and they’ll soon be getting a bunch more reinforcements. Michael Harris II is expected to return soon after the All-Star break, while everyone expects Alex Anthopoulos to aggressively target bats at the trade deadline. Atlanta’s lineup doesn’t have to be historically great to win the World Series this year; they just need to do enough to win behind one of the best pitching staffs in the game.

Photo: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: