The Braves underachieved in the month of May. This is arguably the most complete roster in baseball, and they managed to finish under .500, including a lost series to the worst team in the league in the Oakland Athletics to end the month. It was tough to watch at times, but despite that, MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa still views the Braves as his World Series favorites.
I know Braves fans want to act like the sky is falling every time the team loses a game, but the reality is every club is going to go through rough stretches. The Braves are no different, even as good as they are, and they are only going to get better.
Max Fried and Kyle Wright have missed most of the season, but both are expected to return. Even getting one of them back healthy will be a massive boost for a rotation that has been one of the best in baseball, thanks to tremendous performances from Spencer Strider and the emerging Bryce Elder.
The lineup was hot and cold in May, but there isn’t a more powerful group from top to bottom, and the long ball plays in October. The weakest aspect of the Braves is currently the bullpen, but as I’ve wrote several times, it is a group due for some severe positive regression. The Braves are 15th in bullpen ERA but rank 7th in FIP. They also finally have their closer back in Raisel Iglesias. Atlanta’s relief core will be better, and more reinforcements could be on the way at the trade deadline.
In my totally unbiased opinion, the Braves should be the clear favorites to come out of the NL. It’s baseball, so anything can happen, but there isn’t a more complete roster in all three phases than the Braves. It’s just a matter of it all coming together at the right time, as we saw in 2021.
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