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At the conclusion of everyone’s weekend series, the Braves emerged as the National League East’s leader. Sole possession of first place has eluded Atlanta prior to this third weekend in August.
The journey to first place has been marred at one point in time or still; by rotation inconsistency, a consistently terrible bullpen, Soroka not returning in 2021, Ronald Acuña Jr being lost for the season, IL stints by multiple starting pitchers, a left fielder being arrested while on the IL, Freddie’s contract uncertainty, and Alex Bohm still not having touched home plate.
While second place Philadelphia is promoting Bryce Harper, Freddie’s quietly better than him in: runs, hits, homeruns, RBI, walks, with less strikeouts. But Freddie is once again a victim of his own greatness.
The Infield is the Engine that Powers the Machine
The entire Atlanta infield has more than twenty homeruns, plus Acuña’s 24. Ozzie Albies now has more career homeruns than any second baseman in Braves franchise history. Dansby Swanson has more homeruns by a Braves shortstop in a single season, in franchise history. While Freddie Freeman & Austin Riley are tied for the team lead with twenty-five homeruns apiece to round out the infield.
Dansby has played every game this season. Freddie & Riley have only missed one game. Ozzie has missed two games all season. No other Braves player has played even ninety games.
The four infielders are also the top 4 in batting average, from .260 all the way up to Austin Riley’s .293.
On the Bump
Charlie Morton, the elder statesman, has been the staff’s Ace. He paces the ball club in: wins, ERA, strikeouts, WHIP, BAA, innings pitched, games started, as well as base on balls.
Beyond the Numbers
All that, you can deduce from the team’s official website. What you won’t find on there is that Travis d’Arnaud still hasn’t settled in since his IL stint, Ian Anderson is about to rejoin the team, Huascar Ynoa will start on Tuesday. We haven’t even seen Eddie Rosario in a Braves uniform. And Alex Anthopoulos hit on every trade deadline addition.
When the whole team is clicking, there isn’t a team in the National League that the Braves can’t beat. This team is the team to beat in the NL East, and it’s built even better to match up with anyone in a 5 or 7-game postseason series. All they need to do is get there, there’s no telling what can happen in the postseason.