While we can reasonably expect the Atlanta Braves, on the whole, to be a very good baseball team in 2023, it would be foolish to try to predict exactly what happens next season. No one saw Michael Harris II or Vaughn Grissom having the impact they did last year nor did we expect Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. to struggle as much as they did with injuries. Baseball, in the end, is delightfully unpredictable in a lot of ways.
With that in mind, we are going to try and go ahead and call our shots with some bold predictions for the 2023 Atlanta Braves. Will any of us be right? Maybe….but most of us will probably be wrong and look silly as time goes on. Enjoy!
What is one bold prediction you have for the 2023 Atlanta Braves?
Eric: I am a well-documented Soroka fan and I think betting against Mike Soroka is a fool’s errand. While his pair of Achilles injuries are somewhat uncharted waters, I think not only will he win the fifth spot in the rotation, but I expect him to be genuinely good in 2023 with an ERA around 3.
Sam: Boldest prediction is that the Braves win the division by 3 or more games. The Mets have been flashy, but they made risky moves. The Braves have a higher floor, and with the new schedule layout they don’t have to play the Mets as often.
Fred: By mid-season, Sean Murphy becomes the de facto number one catcher. Travis d’Arnaud plays at age 34 this year, and in his 10 Major League seasons, played more than 75 games only four times. It’s not hard to see a situation where TDA gets injured and Murphy steps up. Once he has that role, he won’t relinquish it, he has the better skillset and will hit as well or better than TDA.
Chase: Everyone loves a good comeback story, right? I believe we see one of the best in baseball from the Braves this year with the season they’ll get from Mike Soroka. Not only do I think Soroka fully works his way back from both Achilles injuries, I think he finishes the season with a WAR higher than 3. Bonus pick: although not as flashy, I think Raisel Iglesias finishes top two in the league in saves.
Mitchell: The Braves get positive production out of LF. I don’t know who it is or where it will be coming from, but I believe that, if Rosario and Ozuna aren’t cutting it in Spring Training, Anthopoulos will find an acceptable LF before the season begins.
Trent: Soroka is the fun answer and I really do think if anyone can overcome what he has come, it is Mike Soroka. I will pick another answer for the sake of spreading it around and having some fun with this prediction. I think the Braves will get a good year out of LF. Whether it be one person or some combination of Eddie Rosario, Jordan Luplow, Sam Hilliard, Kevin Pillar, or whoever.
Davis: Everybody’s favorite Braves first baseman of the last decade – Matt Olson – will have a career-best 6.0 fWAR season that ends in a Gold Glove. The potential for greatness has always been there for Olson – we saw it in 2021 with Oakland. With the fundamental error in his swing that led to an abysmal first half of September rectified, a year of getting acclimated to Atlanta and its coaches, and some added confidence, Olson should slot right back in the upper echelon of first basemen in the league, comfortably having a better season than Pete Alonso.
Colin: I believe that Matt Olson will have an amazing 2023 season that will include an All Star selection and a Golden Glove Award. In 2022, he had 34 home runs and 103 RBIs, but only a .240 batting average. Now that he has had time to fully sink in Atlanta and the Braves’ culture, I don’t think that it is outrageous to say that Olson will become one of the best players in the Brave’s lineup and batting rotation.
Matt: Matt Olson surpasses his 2021 season. Arguably the best season of Olson’s career came in 2021 with the Athletics, a year in which he slashed .271/.371/.540 with 39 HR and 111 RBI. Finishing eighth in AL MVP voting that season, I’ll say for a bold prediction that Olson surpasses those totals in 2023 with 40+ HR, at-least 120 RBI, while also cutting down his strikeout total from a year ago.