3 Reasons the Braves are still better than the Dodgers despite the Ohtani signing

Here are three reasons that the Atlanta Braves are better off than the Los Angeles Dodgers going into the 2024 season.

Los Angeles Angels v Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Now that the anticipation of where Shohei Ohtani will play baseball is over, it's time for reactions around the league. The Atlanta Braves were a long-shot dark horse to sign Ohtani who ultimately signed a 10 year contract worth $700 million to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Intially, everyone's reaction was to rave about how unstoppable the Dodgers will be in 2024. The reality is that Braves fans should not fret because Atlanta is still the team to beat in the National League. Here are three reasons why the Braves are in better shape than the Dodgers even after the Ohtani deal.

Still room to improve the roster

Obviously the off-season has a long way to go, but one would have to imagine after giving one player $700 million the Dodgers pretty much have their Opening Day roster right now. Even a big market team in Los Angeles does not have the financial means to expand much deeper after a deal like that.

Ohtani's historic deal is equal to six Atlanta Braves players. Four of these players are all-stars, one was the National League Rookie of the Year and one is the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.

Atlanta is a smaller market franchise than L.A. and can be difficult to compare to the Dodgers financially. However, when you break this down and seeing where both teams are, it seems like the Braves are in a position to continue and improve while the Dodgers may be stuck right where they are.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game Two
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game Two / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Pitching, pitching, and more pitching

Pitching has been a point of emphasis for the Braves this off-season and so far their acquistions to meet this need has been of the relief variety. In the coming weeks, be ready for the Braves to stay in the market for starting pitching.

Let's just say Atlanta and the Dodgers roll with what they currently have to fill their rotations. The Braves starting staff would have the edge. While LAD has Clayton Kershaw, one of the best to ever do it, he is really about the only consistent spot. Walker Buehler is still plenty talented, but we don't know how he will look coming off his surgery.

The last two spots in the rotation for Atlanta may be in question but with the reliable arms of Spencer Strider, Max Fried and Charlie Morton, the Braves have the edge in this department. And that's before we even get to one of the deepest bullpens in all of baseball.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Atlanta still have the most powerful lineup in baseball

It is really easy to "ooo and ahhh" at the idea of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani on the same lineup card. The Dodgers are projected to have these three individuals back to back to back in the batting order. This will be a nightmare for opposing pitchers. You know what else is a nightmare? The entire Braves offense.

This is absolutely absurd to report but it is true. If you add Shohei Ohtani's 2023 home run total to the Dodgers offense a season ago, the Braves still hit significantly more long balls than Los Angeles. If you forgot, Ohtani is the reigning American League MVP and had the 2nd most homers of anyone in all of Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers will have the toughest top three hitters in the league but after that, their lineup weakens a little. Much like 2023, we can anticipate the Braves offense 1-9 to be a powerful juggernaut. It takes more than three elite hitters to tie the single-season team home run record, and this Braves' lineup still scares pitchers more than any other squad in baseball.