Baseball can be beautifully weird at times. This Atlanta Braves win-loss record has been one of those peculiar circumstances.
The Braves sit in third place and 2.5 games back of first in the NL East. However, the two teams in front of them — the Mets and Phillies — both have negative run differentials. On the other hand, Atlanta has a +54 run differential yet is 1 game below .500.
Why do the Atlanta Braves have a losing record, despite an impressive run differential?
First, let’s point out that according to MLB.com’s metrics, the Atlanta Braves expected record is 59-48, good for 7 games ahead of the Mets’ expected record. Run differential and expected records are obviously not an exact science, but this particular scenario is extremely skewed.
The Braves have undoubtedly scored a fair share of runs. In fact, they lead their division and are 5th in the National League in runs scored. They are also preventing runs at a decent pace — 3rd in their division and 8th in the NL.
This leads to the question: how do they have a top 5 offense and middle of the pack pitching yet have a losing record? Simple math points to it being a strange anomaly of streakiness and bad luck.
The Atlanta Braves are terrible in 1 run games.
As a fan, it is easy to get tunnel vision, only see the bad and forget that many other teams struggle with the same things. However, it would not be unwarranted to be upset at how bad the Braves have been in 1 run games.
29.9% of the Braves games have been 1 run games, and they have not ended well. Atlanta is 12-20 in these games, losing 62.5% of them. If even a few of these games went the other way, the team would be in a much different situation.
The Atlanta Braves have had an extremely inconsistent offense
In all honesty, it is almost shocking the Braves are still 5th in the National League in runs scored, despite losing arguably 3 of their top 4 hitters for most of the season. The issue is not scoring runs; the issue is when they score them.
The Atlanta Braves have scored 24% of their runs in only 8 games. The run differential would be much different if you were to take just a few of those games away. They have 5 games where they scored at least 13 runs.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there have also been many times the Braves just couldn’t seem to score at all. In 39.2% of their games this season, they have scored 3 runs or less. It is almost impossible to win like that, especially without an elite bullpen. In these games, the Atlanta Braves hold a 10-32 record.
This 2021 team has been the definition of feast or famine. Luckily, holes were filled at the trade deadline, and reinforcements are on the way in Travis d’Arnaud and Huascar Ynoa. Here’s to hoping that the expected win-loss record becomes closer to reality as the season progresses.
You must log in to post a comment.