The Braves were my pick to win the National League East this season, mainly due to their bats. Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna, I can go on and on. For the most part, their bats were doing alright but now with Acuna out for the season and Marcell Ozuna injured and in some legal trouble, the bats are not as feared as they normally would be.
I also expected their young pitching to improve, but guys like Max Fried and Ian Anderson haven’t been as consistent as I thought they’d be, and Mike Soroka hasn’t pitched and won’t be pitching this season.
The major downfall of this Braves team has been their bullpen. Letting Mark Melancon and Darren O’Day walk and not really replacing them was not the best idea in hindsight.
Even with all the scrutiny this team has gone through, the Braves find themselves very much in this division race and buying.
The Braves have already acquired Joc Pederson and Steven Vogt to help their outfield and catching situations. Pederson is a really solid get as when he gets hot, he can hit home runs in bunches. He’s no Acuna or Ozuna, but he’s a solid outfielder. Vogt is a capable backup catcher who’s certainly better right now than William Contreras.
I don’t view the Braves as a threat right now, but if they continue to be buyers and potentially acquire a big bat or a solid reliever, they have a shot. A small shot, but a shot nonetheless.