The Athletic’s one big question for the Braves

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The Athletic recently released their MLB power rankings for the week, and the one thing I love about The Athletic’s power rankings is they have a theme for each week. This week’s theme is one big question for all 30 teams. For the Braves, it is obvious. When are these damn bats going to wake up and realize the season began over two months ago?

One big question: Will the Braves’ bats come alive?

Even without Ronald Acuña Jr., the Braves’ offense has been surprisingly mediocre, ranking in the bottom half of the majors in runs scored. Austin Riley has an OPS well below league average, and Matt Olson has yet to find his power stroke. Atlanta remains a safe bet to reach the postseason, but their streak of six straight NL East division crowns is in serious jeopardy. They are going to need more production up and down the lineup to catch the Phillies. — (Rustin) Dodd

The fact that The Athletic still has the Braves ranked sixth in their power rankings is generous, and shows they might not be paying much attention to what’s going on in Atlanta. I could think of about 25+ other teams playing better baseball than the Braves right now.

Everyone expects Atlanta’s offense to eventually flip a switch and turn this boat around. I’m starting to become a little hesitant. Sure, it will get better, simply because it can’t get worse. Austin Riley will eventually get hot, and the same can be said of other All-Stars like Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, and Sean Murphy.

However, this is not a deep lineup anymore without Ronald Acuña Jr. Orlando Arcia is an automatic out and Michael Harris II has severely regressed, while Adam Duvall and Jarred Kelenic are best served as platoon options that are playing everyday.

Things will improve, but believing this lineup will go back to being a top offense in the league is wishful thinking. The Braves better just hope their pitching continues to be lights out, or the NL East could be over by the All-Star break and the playoffs might even be in jeopardy.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire


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