Despite a 45-47 record, here are five reasons why the Atlanta Braves will still win the 2021 NL East title.
Before we dive into the reasons why the Atlanta Braves can still win this division, let’s take a quick recap as to why they are where they are at the moment.
Injury Bug Bites Braves
The injury bug has not just bitten the Braves this season. It has launched a coordinated attack with all hands on deck from the injury bug colony. The targets? Some of the Braves’ biggest names. Players such as Mike Soroka and Ronald Acuna Jr. are out for the rest of the season.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud has not played a game since May 1 when he was injured attempting to make a play at the plate.
Then there was that whole Marcell Ozuna thing. Marcell Ozuna had a gnarly finger injury and followed that up by getting arrested for allegedly strangling his wife and beating her with his cast. He has denied the accuracy of the police reports.
The Braves are missing three massive bats from last season’s lineup. They have (for the most part) been replaced with journeymen like Kevan Smith, Jonathan Lucroy, Guillermo Heredia, and Abraham Almonte.
The bullpen has the fourth-worst ERA in the NL at 4.64. They have been attributed with 11 wins (last in the NL) and 22 losses (second to last in NL).
The Braves have the seventh-worst success rate in all of baseball, blowing 44% of their save opportunities this season.
Opposing hitters are batting .253 off the Atlanta Braves bullpen this season. That is good (or bad) for 26th worst in all of Major League Baseball.
Alex Anthoupolous brought back Shane Greene and he has given up 13 runs in 12 innings.
A.J. Minter blew his sixth save of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He was optioned to AAA following the game. Minter has accounted for 40% of the Braves’ blown saves this season.
Before we move forward to the five reasons the Braves will still win the NL East in 2021, I want to get the topic of Freddie Freeman out of the way. Freddie is the heart and soul of this team and appears to not only have corrected his early struggles but he is on his way to potentially making another MVP case.
Winning the NL East will take more than just Freddie Freeman’s production. Here are five reasons the Braves will still win the NL East in 2021…other than Freddie Freeman.