The Braves had a good thing going, winning 14 straight, but have since dropped two straight games to the Cubs. Even so, we’re only 6.5 games behind the division-leading Mets, who led Atlanta by 10.5 games a very short time ago. Every facet of the club is working in unison.
The rotation boasts three of the best starters across the league in Max Fried, Kyle Wright, and Spencer Strider. The three pitchers are all mid-season candidates to win awards — All-Star selections, Cy Youngs, and Rookie of the Year. Just look at what those three are doing:
- Fried — 2.90 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 2.94 xFIP
- Wright — 2.57 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 3.26 xFIP
- Strider — 2.45 ERA, 2.07 FIP, 2.61 xFIP
The bullpen is absolutely rocking too, despite the unit dealing with a slew of injuries — Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, and Kirby Yates. The Arm Barn ranks first in WAR, SIERA, and K% while ranking fourth in ERA, xFIP, and HR/9. A.J. Minter is one, if not the best reliever in baseball right now, and Kenley Jansen has the second-most saves among closers. However, the bats deserve equal praise.
Atlanta’s offense came alive during the 14-game win streak, even with one of their most important players struggling — Matt Olson. Over that span, the Braves are slashing .292/.355/.570, good for a .925 OPS with 35 homers, 33 extra base hits, and 98 RBIs. However, over that same period, Olson is slashing .200/.262/.317 and a .578 OPS in 60 at-bats.
Ronald Acuna Jr. has also struggled the past few games, but the rest of the lineup is picking up the slack. It is impossible for every player to be hot at the same time. Against the Nationals, two of the Braves’ best hitters (Acuna and Olson) had terrible series. Yet, the club swept them. It will be scary hours for opposing pitchers once Olson regains form. It’s not if either; it is when Olson turns it back on.
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