The Atlanta Braves rally behind first three batters to overcome injury concerns
The Atlanta Braves have had so many storylines this year in the short season. While overcoming injuries and climbing up the win column, the top of the order has been lethal, which has directly attributed to the Braves jumping out early in ball games.
Acuña is 100% Back
Ronald Acuña Jr. has proved every Braves fan correct; he is back. Acuña is batting lights out with a .373 average, 25 hits, and a 1.022 OPS. Domination doesn’t describe what Acuña has done so far this season. He is second in the league (16) runs scored, second in the league in fWAR — leading all position players — and third in the league (25) for hits.
Olson is happy with the home cooking
After Ronald comes Matt Olson, who is also looking like an early NL MVP candidate. The Georgia native leads the NL in strikeouts (26) but is hitting .313 with a .413 OBP, leading the team in homers (5) and OPS (1.069). Olson also tops the league in extra-base hits (11), total bases (42) and RBIs (17). His first season in Atlanta may not have been as good as he had hoped, but he’s looking like a different ballplayer in year two.
Riley still rakes
Batting third is Austin Riley, who has been nothing short of phenomenal over the past three seasons. Riley currently sits at three home runs, 19 hits, and 11 runs. This is a guy who seems to get better with each passing season and is establishing himself as a perennial MVP candidate in the National League.
Braves go deep
In addition to these three, the rest of the lineup is pulling its weight as Sean Murphy, Ozzie Albies, and Eddie Rosario get more comfortable at the plate. Murphy has become a machine as of late. Braves fans knew what kind of backstop they were getting with Murphy defensively, but his offense has come even better than advertised.
Atlanta has also received a ton of production out of the shortstop position early in the season, which was the biggest question mark coming into the year following the departure of Dansby Swanson. Orlando Arcia provides elite defense and is well on his way to proving last season’s offensive success was no fluke. Unfortunately, he’s now on the IL with a micro-fracture in his wrist, but Vaughn Grissom has stepped in wonderfully, coming up with the game-winning RBI in yesterday’s win over the Royals. This lineup is dangerous from top to bottom, and we haven’t even seen it in full form yet.
Photographer: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire
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