The Braves have put together possibly the most talented team of my lifetime as a fan, and I was born smack dab in the middle of the glory days.
Offensively, this team has finally found its footing in June, and the results have been terrifying for opposing pitchers. The Braves now rank first in nearly every major offensive category in the league, except for batting average, where they sit second.
The Braves offense MLB ranks:
OPS: 1st (.825)
OBP: 1st (.341)
SLG: 1st (.484)
HR: 1st (139)
AVG: 2nd (.271) pic.twitter.com/PfalcoQ1e0
— KC Covington (@Fried_Baseball) June 25, 2023
A primary reason for that has been their stellar June, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an entire team hit this well over a 30 day period.
Over the last 30 days, the Braves are hitting .298 as a team
A *team* batting average of nearly .300
.298/.357/.530, 136 wRC+, 55 homers, 162 runs in 26 games (6.2/game)
— Scott Coleman (@scottcoleman55) June 25, 2023
The saying a lineup has no holes is often overused, but it’s the only way to describe this Braves team. They have seven guys currently on pace to hit over 20 homers, and if Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris didn’t miss 20+ games, they could be on a similar trajectory. When the worst bat in the lineup is likely to be the starting shortstop for the National League in the All-Star game, you have something special. There is nothing this position group needs to add going into the trade deadline.
The rotation has been shaky at times, but overall, they’ve done a terrific job withstanding a plethora of injuries to their top guys.
Spencer Strider is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and Bryce Elder continues to prove he is no fluke. Charlie Morton is a rock solid mid-rotation arm, even if it does look like Father Time is beginning to catch up to him.
After that, it’s bleak right now, but the Braves have a ton of options. Max Fried and Kyle Wright should return at some point after the All-Star break. The Braves also have AJ Smith-Shawver, Michael Soroka, Jared Shuster, and Kolby Allard. Unless they suffer more injuries, there’s no reason for them to waste valuable prospect capital acquiring a rotation piece.
The one area the Braves could and should look to add is the bullpen. The group has been a fine unit this season, but a team can never have too many talented relievers, and they could use one more in Atlanta. If I’m Alex Anthopoulos, I’m going all in on adding a high-powered arm that can be lockdown in the later innings. Whether it be a closer or a set-up man, it’s the one area that could be improved. If the Braves can add that at the trade deadline, they are going to be a nightmare to face in October, and should be the favorites to win the World Series, their second one in the last three seasons.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire