Following their disappointing end to the 2022 season, the Braves looked to capitalize on their recent acquisition of catcher Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics back in December. In the 2023 offseason, the Braves lost a key player and fan favorite, Dansby Swanson. The loss of Swanson had fans devastated, some even resorting to hateful comments on social media. However, former backup Orlando Arcia seized the opportunity, becoming one of the best players for the Braves this season. The Braves had a great start to the season going 18-9 in April, and fans hoped that the early success would continue throughout the rest of the year.
There are many factors to the Braves’ impressive 2023 campaign. “This team is loaded with talent from top-to-bottom and at nearly every position,” noted Demetrius Bell from the Atlanta Braves Player Analysis. Outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is playing his first completely healthy season since tearing his ACL back in July 2021, and he has not disappointed. Acuña Jr. leads the league in stolen bases, led the entire league in All-Star votes, was named player of the month in June and is second in batting average and hits on the season. Following impressive rookie seasons, pitcher Spencer Strider and outfielder Michael Harris II continue to dominate (Strider leads the league in strikeouts). On top of that, first-baseman Matt Olson leads the MLB in home runs and runners batted in (RBIs).
The Braves are undoubtedly the best team in baseball this year, as of August 24, they have the best record in the league by six games. The Braves hitting power has been the largest factor in their success, as they lead the league in team batting average, runs scored, home runs, RBIs and total bases. Along with their offensive success, the bullpen has done a fantastic job carrying their load. A new name to fans this year, Bryce Elder, has dominated the diamond along with pitchers Charlie Mortan and Strider. The three pitchers combined have 37 wins under their belt and have contributed a lot to the team’s success this year.
The Braves look to continue their success into the playoffs, hopefully being crowned World Series Champions for the second time in three years.