Atlanta Braves Lineup Hot and Cold

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 30: Dansby Swanson
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 30: Dansby Swanson /
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Preston Tucker's three run homers were keys to the Braves wins
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 04: Preston Tucker’s three run homers were keys to the Braves wins /

How much luck?

StatCast provides expected outcomes for batted ball events based on launch angle and exit velocity using historic outcomes as a baseline. We can see that our current over achievers counting stats are pumped up but we know that they don’t always tell the story. Adding expected batting average and expected weighted on base average to the picture gives a better look.






Ryan Flaherty





Preston Tucker





Dansby Swanson





We’d all be thrilled in those players put up anything close to the expected numbers over the year. In all likelihood they won’t. Flaherty and Tucker are enjoying a perfect storm of pitchers who have never faced them and are struggling to start the season. We can expect them to return to the player they’ve been so far.

Flaherty projections averaged something near a.235/.320/.365 line with a handful of home runs; it wouldn’t surprise me to see the move to the NL push those numbers up a bit. For a utility player who won’t get regular playing time, that line is sound.

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Projections for Tucker predict a .240/.305/.420 hitter with seven top ten homers.  Tucker changed his swing mechanics and takes his walks, so I’d expect regular playing time would see those numbers climb a bit as well.

Once Acuña arrives Tucker’s playing time will dwindle, so that bump in production may not come but let’s be realistic.  If the fourth outfielder produced 10 homers and 45 RBI playing once or twice a week and hit well off the bench, the Braves and their fans could live with it.

Swanson’s hitting the ball well this year, particularly fastballs on the outer half.  His theoretical Achilles heel – the slider – hasn’t been an issue so far. It’s not that he’s suddenly hitting them for a big average; he’s not. He’s simply not swinging at them.

Pitchers threw 22 sliders in the 97 pitches he’s seen. He let 13 go, swung at 9 with four whiffs and had one hit. By comparison, Markakis has yet to get a hit on any of the16 sliders he’s seen, Flaherty saw 12 without a hit and Ozzie saw eight without a hit.