Updated 2024 Braves Panic Meter

MLB: MAY 30 Nationals at Braves

It’s June 6th, which means it’s time to update the Braves panic meter. I recently did this same piece exactly one month ago after a slide to begin May, and since then, nothing has gotten better. In fact, things have gotten substantially worse. The Braves now sit eight games back in the NL East, which nobody could have expected coming into the season, and they recently lost the reigning NL MVP for the season to a torn ACL.

There wasn’t a reason to panic a month ago. Now, I’m not so sure.

Atlanta Braves Panic Meter: 4

There are a couple of different perspectives that must be addressed. If you’re looking at this in terms of the division, the Braves panic meter could be much closer to 10. The Philadelphia Phillies are playing outstanding baseball, and it’s difficult to imagine them going on a considerable losing streak with their pitching staff. They are on pace to win over 110 games, and unlike the Mets, they aren’t going to shrivel at the sight of the Braves in head-to-head matchups toward the end of the season if the race gets tight.

From an injury perspective, there are also many concerns. Not many teams could lose the ace of its staff and the reigning NL MVP and still be viewed as a contender. The Braves are one of the few, but the margin for error is now razor thin. If any more critical pieces go down for an extended period, things could unravel quickly, and the NL East will be the last of the Braves’ worries.

With that being said, I’m not ready to go full panic mode just yet because this is still the best pitching staff the Braves have had since their run of division titles began back in 2018, even without Spencer Strider. Max Fried is pitching better than he ever has, Chris Sale looks like a Cy Young candidate, Reynaldo Lopez has been arguably the best free agent signing of the offseason, and the bullpen is one of the best in baseball. If they stay healthy, that group can be a problem come October.

Beyond that, this isn’t the final version of the Braves. Alex Anthopoulos is going to be aggressive at the trade deadline looking to replace Ronald Acuña Jr. I expect him to add multiple bats and possibly a starting pitcher as well. There is still a lot of time for the Braves to improve this season, internally and externally. The key in this sport is peaking at the right time come October. That still could very well happen for the Braves in 2024.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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