Atlanta Braves lineup divide hurts but they remain in the race

Kyle Muller of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the second inning against the New York Mets. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Kyle Muller of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the second inning against the New York Mets. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
atlanta braves
The Atlanta Braves lineup lost its late-inning-lightning Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Braves stats in context.

"What a horrible satire it is to say that figures won’t lie. They are the greatest liars in the modern world.- Halifax Morning Chronicle November 20, 1869"

Since the start of the season, anyone who questioned the Atlanta Braves’ ability to score runs or the effectiveness of the lineup was told to look at the run differential and where the team’s lineup stood compared to the league. Game statistics below from the Braves’ schedule page on Baseball-Reference.

The Braves run differential after 101 games is +45 with 482 scored, and 437 allowed; a positive ratio is great, right? Well, maybe, maybe not; everything requires context.

  • The Braves scored 46.5% of their runs (224) in 22 games (21.8%) while allowing 105 runs (24%) for a +119 run differential and an 18-4 record.
  • In the remaining 79 games, the Braves scored 258 runs and allowed 332 for a run differential of –79 while posting a 32-47 record.

How’s that positive run differential look now?

Related Story. Would this help?. light

Lackadaisical late innings

Late-inning-lightning trademarked the Atlanta Braves lineup over the last three seasons. If the Braves weren’t well and truly shut down after six innings, they would fight tooth and nail over the last three and win more often than not.  The 2021 lineup lacks that ability.

The Braves trailed:

  • To start the 7th inning 37 times, ended it tied five times, but never ended it ahead.
  • To start the 8th inning 33 times, ended it tied twice, and ended it with a lead once.
  • To start the 9th inning 35 times, ended it tied three times, but never ended it ahead.

The Braves have won two of eleven extra-inning games.

While we’ve seen the occasional flash of late-inning fight spirit, only five players – Riley, Acuna Jr., newly acquired Pederson, Freeman, and Albies – have an OPS over .760 in the final third of the game.

Almonte (.745) and Heredia (.716) are the only other players with an OPS over Arcia’s .690 in 15 PA.