Braves Offense En Fuego: A Look At The Stats

The Atlanta Braves offense has been near the top of the National League for most of the season, but the top 5 batters in their everyday lineup seem to have ramped it up over the past week, and even the past month, as the Braves have stormed back into first place in the NL East.

What A Week It Has Been

Over the last 7 days, the Braves have 5 players hitting over .300 with at least 11 hits.

Ronald Acuna, Jr. has been the man everyone is talking about, and rightfully so. The young stud has 13 hits, including 6 homeruns, while knocking in 11 RBIs and scoring 11 runs himself. Not to be outdone by the young fella, Nick Markakis is hitting .400 during the same timespan with 14 hits, 5 doubles, and 8 RBIs. Meanwhile Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman both have 12 hits, including 5 doubles apiece, while Ozzie Albies has contributed 11 hits.

That’s right, the Braves have 5 players in their lineup who are on what many might call, a hot streak.

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Let’s Take A Look At The Last 30 Days…

Over the last 30 days, much of the same crew has still been doing damage. Freeman (32) is 3rd in the National League in hits, while Acuna (31), Markakis (30), and Camargo (28) are hot on the MVP candidate’s tail. Camargo and Freeman both have 9 doubles, just 1 back of the leaders, while Acuna has hammered 6 two-baggers over the last 30.

Acuna is 2nd in the NL with 20 Runs Batted In, while Camargo and Markakis both have 16 RBIs and Freeman trails them with 14. Acuna has racked up 6 stolen bases in the last 30, good for 4th in the NL, with his buddy Albies stealing 3 bases of his own.

Freddie and Markakis are both hitting .333 throughout this timespan, ranking them 5th in the NL, while Acuna and Camargo are hitting .330 and .311, respectively. Ender Inciarte seems to have regained his swing a bit and is hitting .284 in the same timeframe with Albies not far behind him at .269.

Damn That’s Not Too Shabby, What About The Entire Season???

Ahhh, I’m glad you asked.

Let’s start with team statistics, after all baseball is a team sport.

As a team, the Braves are 2nd in the NL and 3rd in the MLB in both hits and team batting average, with ATL hitting .260 on the season as a team. The Braves are the leaders in the NL in doubles, and rank 2nd in the MLB in two-baggers. Atlanta is also 2nd in the NL in runs scored, 4th in stolen bases, 4th in OBP, 3rd in Slugging Percentage, and 2nd in On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage.

The Braves lead the National League in Total Bases, are 2nd in Extra Base Hits, 7th in homers, and have the 2nd fewest strikeouts. For good measure, Atlanta is also 2nd in the NL in sacrifice bunts.

Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman are 1st and 2nd atop the leaderboard of the NL for batting average on the season, hitting .325 and .319 respectively. Keep them at 1st and 2nd in the league in hits, and add in Ozzie Albies at 3rd place and you have the 3 players with the most hits in the National League all playing in Atlanta, hitting 2-3-4 behind an en fuego Acuna and followed by a streaking Camargo…SHEESH!

The trio of Markakis, Freeman, and Albies also lead the league in doubles, while Albies is 2nd in Runs Scored followed closely by Freeman in 8th, and Ender Inciarte sneaks in the Top 5 of the league in stolen bases.

This is a very dangerous lineup that has proven they can win in any way needed, whether they need to win a slugfest or a 1-0 game, the Braves have plenty of players capable of doing the job.

Ok, Ok, Ok…What About the Pitching?

Let’s begin with the starters, and the good news. The Braves starting pitchers have the 3rd lowest ERA (3.62) in the NL and 6th lowest in the Majors. They have allowed the fewest hits in the NL, the 2nd fewest runs, and have the lowest average against (.230) of all starting pitching staffs in the National League.

However, the starters for Atlanta rank just 11th in the NL in innings pitched. Remember there are just 15 teams in each league, so 11th is below the league average. The Braves starters also have the 2nd most walks of any starting staff in the NL. Plenty of room for improvement.

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With the offense producing at an elite clip for most of the season, the Braves starters have had some time to grow and get into a groove. Atlanta is going to need the starting pitchers to provide quality starts and begin to go deeper into games, while keeping runners off the basepaths via bases on balls.

…The Bullpen?

The Atlanta bullpen currently ranks 5th in the NL in batting average against, and they’ve given up the 5th fewest homers, 5th fewest hits allowed, and sport the 6th lowest ERA. Honestly, other than allowing the 3rd most walks and converting just 29- of 42 save opportunities, the Braves bullpen has been pretty solid considering the workload they have received.

These stats are even more impressive when you considered the fact the top relievers in Atlanta this year: Dan Winkler, AJ Minter, Shane Carle, and Jesse Biddle are all considered to be in their rookie year. Just like the starting unit, the Braves offense has given the bullpen enough room to learn and grow, but now it is time for these guys to come in and shut opponents down. The bullpen could be the one factor that takes the Braves from Playoffs contenders, to World Series contenders. 

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{Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images}

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