With the return of Travis d’Arnaud last night, the Braves put together arguably their best lineup of the season, and it paid substantial dividends.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 15, 2022
The Braves exploded for 13 runs against Carlos Carrasco and the Mets, cutting the division lead to 4.5 games. It’s still a lot to overcome in such a short amount of time, but from a momentum perspective, things felt a lot different with this group taking the field.
From top to bottom, this may be the best lineup the Braves have put on the field in the last two seasons. Let’s start with the last two guys — Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom. The two rookies look like All-Stars out there, and if their confidence is a sign of things to come, neither of them is slowing down. Despite being just 21-years-old, it doesn’t seem like anything phases them. They are just out there doing what they know best, which is playing baseball at the highest level. I don’t think there are two better 8-9 hitters in the game, and things could look even more promising when Ozzie Albies returns.
Unfortunately for opponents, the rest of the Braves lineup is just as filthy. Ronald Acuña is starting to look like the best player in the National League again. Dansby Swanson is amid a career year. Austin Riley is among the frontrunners for the MVP race. Matt Olson is on pace to hit 30+ bombs, and William Contreras might already have 30 homers if Brian Snitker was playing him every day.
When these guys are right, I don’t think there is a better offense in baseball, and as I said, this group will only get deeper when Ozzie returns in September. The hole the Braves dug themselves in the division may end up being too much to overcome, but they’ll make the playoffs regardless, and this is the last group any pitching staff wants to see come October.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire