Braves: Has Matt Olson turned a corner?

Austin Riley Braves

The Braves offense is amid a shockingly abysmal stretch since the end of April in which they’ve been among the worst lineups in baseball. If it weren’t for Marcell Ozuna, an argument could be made that this team might not even be .500, let alone nine games over. However, there are signs of improvement; most notably, Matt Olson‘s form over the last few weeks.

The Braves first baseman, who set a franchise record for home runs in a season last year with 54, began the season like much of the Atlanta offense, mired in a nasty slump. From April 9th to May 11th, Matt Olson hit just .156 with four extra-base hits, good for an OPS just north of .500. Since then (21 games), he’s hitting .317 with five homers, six doubles, and an OPS of .950. That’s a pretty lengthy stretch of Olson looking like the guy he was a year ago, and over the past eight games, the numbers are even better — .367 batting average, two homers, five doubles, and a 1.127 OPS.

Matt Olson is the type of streaky hitter that can catch fire at a moment’s notice and stay that way for a long time, similar to Austin Riley. They each can carry an offense almost single-handedly when they are going right, and together, they are the two biggest pieces to getting this offense going in the right direction. Olson appears to have found something, and Riley always seems to get scorching hot right when the summer months come rolling around.

Hopefully, that’s the case again this year. 6.5 games back in the NL East, the Braves desperately need this offense to come to life soon, or they may find themselves in too deep of a hole to overcome.

Photographer: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire

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