MLB executives still view Braves as the class of the NL

MLB: MAY 09 Red Sox at Braves

The Braves had a rocky month of May, going 15-14, and it included a miserable series against the lowly Oakland Athletics in which they had to fight to avoid a sweep. At that moment, it seemed as if the Braves had it rock bottom after such a wonderful start to the season.

Despite that, Atlanta started June with a thrilling series win over the Diamondbacks, capped off by a Eddie Rosario grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning. They currently sit in first place in the NL East with a 3.5-game cushion over the Marlins, and they also sport the best record in the NL. The Braves are in a good spot, even after some rocky patches, and executives around the league don’t believe their struggles will continue for much longer.

Jayson Stark of The Athletic recently did a piece discussing the major storylines across the league through 60 games. One of them centered around the lack of “super teams” in today’s game.

Stark is right. Nobody has established themselves as the class of Major League Baseball through 60 games as teams like the Dodgers and Astros have done in recent years. However, of all 30 clubs, the only two that were mentioned by MLB executives as having the potential to be considered a “super team” were the Braves and Rays.

“Are there any Super Teams roaming Planet Baseball in 2023,” Stark writes.

“The only nominations for that honor, from the execs we surveyed, were the Rays and Braves. But do either of them feel like the monsters that the 2018 Red Sox, the 2022 Dodgers or a bunch of different Astros teams had already proven they were by June?”

Are the Braves a super team right now? I don’t think anyone would qualify them as one after their May performance, but it does feel like they are the one team in the NL that can separate themselves from the pack.

Atlanta’s rotation, even without Max Fried and Kyle Wright, has been as good as any in baseball, thanks to contributions from Spencer Strider, Bryce Elder, and Charlie Morton. Their bullpen is beginning to get healthy and starting to come around. It actually was the Braves offense that was the primary culprit for the club’s underwhelming performance over the last 30 games; however, does anybody really think that isn’t going to change with time?

At any given moment, the Braves are capable of putting together a lengthy win streak. They proved that last season, and there’s no reason to think they won’t do it again at some point in 2023. With the Dodgers taking a bit of a step back, executives and fans alike are just waiting for the Braves to separate themselves from the rest of the National League.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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