Are the Atlanta Braves the real deal?
The Braves are off to a scorching start, at 29-19. Do you believe the hype?
Led by a 21 year old Phenom in Ozzie Albies, who has already smashed 14 dingers, (Tied for second in the NL) and a 34 year old vet in Nick Markakis who is batting .344 (2nd best in all of MLB) the Braves are beginning to turn heads. It pains me to hear the “I told you so’s” by all of my Braves friends, who preached that the Braves would return to 90’s era Braves baseball. Needless to say, If Ozzie hits half as many home runs this year as times that his helmet falls off, he’s in for a record year.
Let’s not forget about the foundation of this Braves organization, the ever reliable Freddie Freeman is batting .324, with 35 RBI’s already (T 5th in MLB).
The Braves are 2nd in the bigs in team batting average (.264) 3rd in RBI’s (234) , 3rd in hits (445) and 3rd in On base Percentage (.335)
I believe the Braves definitely have the offensive weapons to make a run at the NL East Division title. It’s their bullpen that might hold them back from these dreams.
Surprisingly enough their top 4 starters are a combined 17-7, with an ERA of 3.48. 24 year old Sean Newcomb, a healthy 6’5 255 lb south paw is tearing it up in his second year for Atlanta, with a record at 5-1 and an ERA of just 2.39 and 58 K’s to his 52 innings pitched.
Their bullpen on the other hand has an ERA of around 7.09. Not the numbers you want to see out of guys coming in to pitch 1-3 innings.
There is one gap left to be filled for the Braves and that’s 3rd base. Johan Camargo is batting .214, and you can’t really blame him, in just his second year, but when you have guys like Acuna, and Albies flourishing at a young age, it’s hard not to judge.
Hanley Ramirez just got designated for assignment but the Boston Red Sox, and i think the Braves would be a good fit for him. It’s just whether or not Atlanta wants to cough up $15 million for the 34 year old Dominican.
Overall, in my crystal ball, I see the Braves winning 87-93 games this year. I guess you could say, believe the hype.