Offensive struggles will eventually come back to bite Braves

Austin Riley Braves

The Braves own MLB’s best record at 19-8 and have won 11 of their last 14 games. There’s not much to complain about in Atlanta, but slow starts from their superstars are somewhat alarming.

Individually, it’s quite normal for Ronald Acuna Jr. Matt Olson, or Austin Riley to experience a lengthy slump. That’s the name of the game of baseball. Failure is far more common than success. However, it is rare to see them all go through it at the same time.

Acuna has just four hits in his last 34 plate appearances with no homers and an unsightly .437 OPS. His average is down to .255 on the season with just a single home run through one month. As Jake Mastroianni points out, he’s really struggling against the 4-seam fastball, batting just .091 against the offering with a 34.4% K-rate and 32.5% Whiff-rate.

Somehow, Matt Olson’s been even worse of late, recording just three hits in his last 39 at-bats (.077 batting average) with one extra-base hit and a .348 OPS. While Riley has been equally as unproductive, going four for his last 38 (.108 batting average) with no extra-base hits and a .341 OPS.

It’s been comically putrid for multiple weeks, yet the Braves just keep chugging along like nothing is happening, winning games at an incredible rate behind stellar pitching and timely hits from the rest of the lineup, most notably, Travis d’Arnaud and Marcell Ozuna. However, this isn’t a sustainable way to play.

The Braves pitching staff, especially without Spencer Strider, is going to come down to earth eventually, and as good as Ozuna and d’Arnaud have been, they can’t stay this hot forever. It’s far too early to place the panic button on the top of the Braves lineup. These are perennial All-Stars with lengthy track records of success; guys that were all in the top 10 odds for the NL MVP at the beginning of the season.

The results will eventually come. For the Braves’ sake, hopefully, that happens sooner rather than later, or the losses will begin to pile up in bunches.

Photographer: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: