The Braves haven’t been fully healthy for a single game but boast the best record in the National League. It’s a testament to the work Alex Anthopoulos has done building a complete roster, one that has overcome injuries to Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Orlando Arcia, Raisel Iglesias, Collin McHugh, Travis d’Arnaud, and Sean Murphy.
That’s the scariest part. Yes, every club deals with injuries, but it doesn’t seem to affect the Braves. When this team gets to full strength, they’re by far the best in baseball. Wherever you look, there’s All-Star talent.
- Shane McClanahan and Wander Franco (TB)
- Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge (NYY)
- Framber Valdez and Yordan Alvarez (HOU)
- Zac Gallen and Corbin Carroll (ARI)
- Max Fried and Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)
The Braves ace has been injured for much of the year but still sports a 2.08 ERA and 1.077 WHIP across 26 innings. Fried is coming off a campaign in which he threw a career-high 185.1 innings with a 2.48 ERA and 1.014 WHIP.
He’s set to return around the All-Star break to a rotation that desperately needs his prowess. There’s virtually no scenario where the Braves accomplish their ultimate goal without Max Fried, but the slim chance of it happening is because of the others on the team, like MVP frontrunner Ronald Acuna Jr.
What the Venezuelan superstar is doing this year has never been done before. He’s on pace to eclipse 30 home runs and 60 steals while batting .325; moreover, he’s walking more than ever and striking out less than ever. This is the best version of Ronald Acuna we have ever seen.
What’s even crazier is the Braves feature several menacing duos. Despite a couple of rough outings recently, Spencer Strider still possesses some of the nastiest stuff on the planet. Sean Murphy (148 wRC+) and Orlando Arcia (143 wRC+) are some of the most feared hitters in baseball right now.
It’s just a long-winded way of saying that we are in the golden years for the Atlanta Braves right now. We should all cherish it.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire