Following the loss of Ronald Acuña, most expect the Braves to be sellers at the trade deadline. They already sit four games out of first, and it could get a lot worse before it gets any better. Atlanta’s schedule is absolutely brutal coming out of the All-Star break. With that being said, if they can somehow stay afloat during it, it should give them enough confidence to add some pieces at the deadline rather than subtract.
The Braves return from the break to play the defending American League champions. It’s their only matchup with the Rays all season and is followed by another three-game set against the Padres before hitting the road. The Braves’ next eight games will take place away from home against the Phillies and Mets. That is the last full series before the trade deadline. They’ll be in the middle of a three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31st, and by then, it should be overwhelmingly obvious whether they should buy or sell.
I’m an optimistic Braves far more times than not, but this upcoming stretch is a gauntlet. The loss of Ronald Acuña couldn’t have come at a worse time. With him, the Braves would have had a difficult time going .500 between now and the trade deadline. Without him, this looks like a stretch where Atlanta could lose five or six games of ground in the division. However, the Braves will have a chance to salvage their season in the last full series before the trade deadline against the Mets. If they can win three or four against them, buying could become an option.
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