Maybe the Braves offense just isn’t any good…

MLB: MAY 27 Nationals at Braves

The Braves are coming off three straight losses to the Washington Nationals, who have now beaten Atlanta six times in eight tries over the last two weeks. The Braves now sit a full nine games back of the Philadelphia Phillies, which almost feels insurmountable at this point because this is a Braves offense that has been on life support for six weeks now and has shown absolutely zero signs of waking up. In fact, they’ve arguably only gotten worse, especially following the loss of reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr.

So how bad has it been?

Since April 29th, only one team has been worse offensively than the Atlanta Braves in all of baseball — the Colorado Rockies. Teams in front of the Braves — Nationals, White Sox, Marlins. Yes, the Braves have really been worse offensively over a six-week stretch than the White Sox and Marlins. Here is where Atlanta ranks in some other major offensive categories.

OBP — 30th out of 30

wRC+ — 28th out of 30

Batting Average — 29th out of 30

Slugging — 27th out of 30

That’s almost unthinkable when considering how dominant this lineup was a year ago, setting MLB records across numerous categories, and this isn’t just a stretch of a couple of weeks. This is a fifth of the season where the Braves have been abysmal offensively in every aspect, and it’s fair to wonder just how much better it is going to get.

It has to get better, right? That, I can agree with. This isn’t one of the worst offenses in baseball, but how much better?

Just taking a look up and down the lineup card, I’m not sure this is anything much more than an average offense in the league without Ronald Acuña Jr. Last season, everybody had a historic season. This year, it’s the opposite.

Michael Harris II has taken a massive step in the wrong direction, which some advanced models have been predicting would happen. Ozzie Albies is fine, but the power certainly hasn’t been there. Austin Riley has been pitiful. Matt Olson is never going to put up the kind of numbers he did a year ago, and the rest of the lineup — outside of the Big Bear, of course — couldn’t strike fear into many minor league pitchers.

Orlando Arcia is not a good offensive player; there’s no two ways around it. Adam Duvall is better served as a fourth outfielder. The Braves catching tandem has always been hot and cold, and Jarred Kelenic was supposed to be the worst guy in the lineup, not somebody the Braves desperately need to produce.

All the talk of last year was about the Braves juggernaut offense and how they didn’t let you breathe one through nine in the order. The guys at the top have track records of success. They might be able to figure it out as the season continues, but the back half of Atlanta’s offense just isn’t good. There’s no chance they come anywhere close to producing at the rate they did last year.

Without Ronald Acuña Jr, this isn’t one of the better lineups in the league. Major changes need to come ahead of the trade deadline if the Braves want to be viewed as serious contenders.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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