Atlanta Braves Predictions from the Tomahawk Take Staff

VENICE, FLORIDA - MARCH 17: Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Photo Day at CoolToday Park on March 17, 2022 in Venice, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
VENICE, FLORIDA - MARCH 17: Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Photo Day at CoolToday Park on March 17, 2022 in Venice, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Atlanta Braves fans celebrate. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)
Atlanta Braves fans celebrate. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images) /

The Tomahawk Take crew got together to make predictions for the Atlanta Braves 2022 season!

The 2022 season is upon us and our Atlanta Braves head into the year the defending champs. That feels good to say.

For years we watched the team go through a tough rebuild and slowly climb their way up the MLB ranks. After a few heartbreaking postseason losses in years prior, the Braves finally put it all together for a magical run to end the 2021 season as champs.

The 2021 season was a rollercoaster. There were times it even looked like the Braves had too much to overcome and should consider a minor sell-off.

Then came arguably the greatest trade deadline in history courtesy of Alex Anthopolous. The Braves turned it around, finally getting over .500 in August, and went on to win it all.

Now that they start the season at the top, how will the 2022 season play out? That is where our predictions come in. Here is who participated:

A lot of great minds coming together to make predictions!

The five main categories are the same as a year ago: Braves MVP, Braves CY Young, Bold Prediction(s), X-Factor(s), & Record/Division Prediction. They could answer the question however they felt.

There were several ways the predictions could have gone and several different trains of thought. However, we were mostly very positive about the Braves and their outlook for the 2022 season.

Here is to a great 2022 season for Braves country and a successful defense of a World Series crown. With that being said, time to jump right in to the Tomahawk Take predictions for the 2022 season.

Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Braves MVP

Alan Carpenter: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Jake Mastroianni: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Fred Owens: Austin Riley

Sam Peebles: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Kyle Walter: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Jon Magel: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Matt Melton: Matt Olson

Andrew Cicco: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Payton Wilkerson: Austin Riley

Thomas Ashworth: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Steven Teal: Austin Riley

Trent Dickeson: Ozzie Albies

Ronald Acuña Jr. overwhelmingly runs away with the MVP vote from the writers, despite knowing he will miss a few weeks to start the season. Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one.

Personally, I thought we might see more disparity here due to the injury.

Austin Riley comes in second as the Braves MVP behind Acuña Jr. Riley was the obvious MVP in 2021 for the Braves, especially in the second half. His breakout season was huge for the team in the absence of Acuña.

Matt went with his namesake and the newest member of the Atlanta Braves, Matt Olson. Olson was phenomenal in Oakland last year, including launching a career high 39 home runs. Now, in a better park, he may break that career mark in 2022. Also need to mention that Olson is arguably the best defensive first baseman in baseball.

I went with Ozzie Albies as my MVP. I went with a more intangible approach. I would love to see Albies become more of a leader in the Braves clubhouse. If he can take the next step as a clubhouse leader, someone the guys look to on the field and off, then it will be huge for the Braves.

Not to mention he still has another step left to take as a player. Coming off a season where he posted 30 HR, 103 R, 106 RBI, & 20 SB, I think Albies still has another level to his game. 2022 could be the year where Ozzie finally establishes himself as the best second baseman in the game.

Max Fried #54 of the Atlanta Braves during Game Six of the World Series. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Max Fried #54 of the Atlanta Braves during Game Six of the World Series. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Braves CY Young

Alan Carpenter: Max Fried

Jake Mastroianni: Max Fried

Fred Owens: Max Fried

Sam Peebles: Charlie Morton

Kyle Walter: Charlie Morton

Jon Magel: Max Fried

Matt Melton: Max Fried

Andrew Cicco: Ian Anderson

Payton Wilkerson: Max Fried

Thomas Ashworth: Ian Anderson

Steven Teal: Max Fried

Trent Dickeson: Max Fried

Max Fried is the Ace of the staff. After a slow start to the 2021 season that saw an early stint on the IL, Fried came back as one of the best pitchers in the league. The season culminated with Fried putting together a marvelous performance in game 6 of the World Series.

Coming off that performance many believe that Fried is one of favorites for the NL CY Young award. For the most part, we see Fried being the leader of the rotation in 2022.

Charlie Morton got a few votes as well. Morton has been one of the more underrated stars of the last several years. Each and every year, Morton continues to deliver as one of the best pitchers in the entire league. There is a reason the Braves brought him in, not only is he excellent on the mound, but he provides valuable leadership to the young pitchers on the staff.

The intangibles that Uncle Charlie brings could benefit the Braves staff for years to come.

Finally, Ian Anderson also earns a few votes. Anderson unquestionably has one of the highest ceilings of any pitcher in the organization, he just needs to put it all together. Sometimes it takes a few years for a young pitcher to put it all together and take that next step. Could 2022 be that year for Anderson?

A general view prior to the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images)
A general view prior to the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

Bold Prediction(s)

Alan Carpenter: The most homers ever hit by an Atlanta Braves team came in 2019:  249.  Last year the tally was 239.  I believe they set a new record with 260 or more in 2022.

Jake Mastroianni: Ian Anderson will get Cy Young votes

Fred Owens: Ozzie hits 30, infield hits 130, Wright establishes himself in the rotation

Sam Peebles: Braves score the most runs ever for their franchise in a season. The DH really helps here.

Kyle Walter: Michael Harris has an Acuna Esque rocket trip through the minors and gets a cup of coffee in September.

Jon Magel: Braves win over 100 games

Matt Melton: Spencer Strider emerges as the number 4 starter. Matt Olson hits 45-50 HR.

Andrew Cicco: Ozzie Albies finishes top 5 in MVP voting

Payton Wilkerson: Mike Soroka returns after the All Star break and returns to his All-Star form- I do think we will see Mike Soroka pitch in 2022 (barring any setbacks). Soroka himself told Ben Verlander of Fox Sports that he expects to be back around midseason. How awesome would it be to see a rotation anchored by Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, and Mike Soroka?

Thomas Ashworth: Collin McHugh will make a run at reliever of the year.

Steven Teal: Dansby Swanson has a 30 homer season. Swanson feels poised for a breakout season.

Trent Dickeson: I have a few. Ozzie Albies puts together a 6 WAR season. Ronald Acuña Jr. still reaches a 30/30 season. A minor league bold/long-shot prediction: Freddy Tarnok contributes to the Atlanta Braves at the end of 2022.

A lot of fun ones here. Alan, Fred, and Sam all see the Braves having a record setting offense in 2022.

A few guys getting top award votes in these predictions. Jake sees Ian Anderson receiving CY Young love, while Andrew sees a career year from Ozzie Albies. Thomas with a prediction that I would love to come true, a run at reliever of the year for Collin McHugh.

Kyle sees Michael Harris having a big year and forcing the Braves hand. Is there a shot Harris could force his way into Atlanta this season?

Payton’s prediction would be one of the most heartwarming. It is a long-shot, but seeing Mike Soroka step back on the mound in a Braves uniform would be something to see.

Kyle Wright #30 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kyle Wright #30 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /


Alan Carpenter: It’s the entire lineup… no place to hide for an opposing pitcher since everyone can go deep at any point.  Other than that… if Kyle Wright can finally emerge, then he’s a key to holding this rotation together.

Jake Mastroianni: Kyle Wright will have a breakout season

Fred Owens: Health, Once we get past the starting lineup, depth is very thin everywhere.

Sam Peebles: Ian Anderson. His peripherals show he is in for regression and he had 8 outings with 4 ER last year. The Braves are very top heavy in the rotation so they really need to be able to count on Anderson as a number 3.

Kyle Walter: Kenley Jansen, can he have a full season of being a reliable shutdown closer?

Jon Magel: Kyle Wright / other young pitchers step up

Matt Melton: Adam Duvall

Andrew Cicco:  Kyle Muller; I see him being an important piece down the road

Payton Wilkerson: Dansby Swanson-Like his six year career with the Braves has been, Swanson was up and down throughout 2021. He did however hit a career high 27 home runs. Swanson is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, so 2022 will be the year to prove to the Braves he can be the shortstop of this team for the next five-six years. I think Swanson will rise to the occasion and will put together the best statistical hitting season of his career in 2022. His play will be important to the team come playoff time.

Thomas Ashworth: Dansby Swanson

Steven Teal: The Atlanta Braves Bullpen. Enough said.

Trent Dickeson: Someone stepping up and establishing themselves as the 4th and 5th starter for the Braves. Whether it is Kyle Wright, Tucker Davidson, Huascar Ynoa, Kyle Muller, Spencer Strider, Bryce Elder, or whoever. There is an opportunity to claim a full-time spot in the rotation and someone needs to reach out and take it.

Focusing on the individual names mentioned here, Kyle Wright is a popular name as an x-factor/breakout candidate. He was a high draft pick for a reason. The talent is there, is this finally the year for Wright?

Sam mentions Ian Anderson’s peripherals. A turn from others who believe Anderson will have a big year. If Anderson is not able to be a reliable third member of the rotation, it will cause problems for the Braves.

Kenley Jansen is a fun answer. The guy who is currently second in saves among active players joins the team. If he is the Jansen of year’s past, the Braves bullpen will be a major strength.

Adam Duvall will be asked to man centerfield on a regular basis in 2022. If he can provide the same stellar defense, it will be a huge benefit to the team.

Dansby Swanson has been one of the biggest topics of conversation among Braves fans for years. In a contract year, Swanson needs to put together a big year not only for the Braves but for his own personal benefit.

(Photo by Patrick Duffy/Beam Imagination/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
(Photo by Patrick Duffy/Beam Imagination/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

Record and Division Predictions

Alan Carpenter: 92 wins- 1st in NL East

Jake Mastroianni: Braves finish first in NL East with 94 wins.

Fred Owens:  93 wins / first

Sam Peebles: 92-70- 1st

Kyle Walter: Braves 96-66- 1st

Jon Magel: 103-59- 1st

Matt Melton: 94-68- 1st

Andrew Cicco: 97-65- 1st

Payton Wilkerson: 94-68- 1st

Thomas Ashworth: 92-70

Steven Teal: 92-70 Braves win 5th division title in a row

Trent Dickeson: 95-67- 1st

A clean sweep. We think the Braves repeat as the NL East champs for a 5th straight divisional title.

We may be a little biased, but we have a right to be. The Braves have been the class of the NL East for several years now and are coming off a championship.

On paper, this is one of the best rosters not only in the NL East or the NL but all of baseball. A lot of experts believe the Braves will back in the playoffs come October.

So even though we are Braves fans, we have a valid reason to believe in the Braves.

The biggest threat looks to come from the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets had a big offseason such as Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Chris Bassitt, and Eduardo Escobar. However, Jacob deGrom and Scherzer appear to be injured to start the year.

The Phillies added some big bats in the form of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. Adding them to a lineup featuring Bryce Harper will make the Phillies an offensive threat. Will their defense be an issue?

The Miami Marlins look to be on the rise, and could make some noise thanks to their strong depth at pitching. They could be a sneaky team that could cause problems in the NL East.

The Washington Nationals are in the midst of a full rebuild. They did add Nelson Cruz and Juan Soto is an MVP favorite. They could play spoiler this year.

Despite all this, we believe the Braves will defend their division crown and will attempt to defend their championship in October.