Charlie Morton is the X-Factor to the Braves rotation

braves playoff roster

The Braves look to bounce back from a disastrous series against the Mets, and they have the right guy on the mound to do so. Charlie Morton will start the first game of the series against the Red Sox. A couple of months ago, that might not have instilled much confidence in Braves country. But recently, Morton has been as reliable as anyone on the Braves staff, looking like the man that finished third in the AL Cy Young race back in 2019.

The turning point in the season for Morton was a June 11th start against the Pirates. He surrendered four earned runs in the outing over six innings, but his 12 strikeouts were a sign of things to come. In his nine starts since then, Morton has a 2.40 ERA, striking out 68 batters over 56.1 innings. Opponents are hitting just .179 against him with a .549 OPS.

For the most part, it’s been flat out domination from Morton of late, and it’s critical that it continues down the stretch and into the postseason. The Braves rotation may have a weak link at the backend, but 1-4 has the potential to be one of the most fearsome groups in baseball, and that’s all you need come the playoffs.

Max Fried is an ace, and rookie Spencer Strider might be even better. Kyle Wright was shaky his last time out, but overall, he’s been one of the better pitchers in the National League. Charlie Morton is the Braves X-Factor. When he’s on, like he has been lately, he has the potential to be the best of the bunch, and his experience makes him even more valuable come the postseason. That’s an elite four-man rotation, and when you consider just how dominant the Braves bullpen has the potential to be with the additions of Raisel Iglesias and Kirby Yates, this pitching staff has the opportunity to gel into something special when it matters most.

Photo: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

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