3 takeaways from the Braves much-needed series win over the Cubs at Wrigley

The Braves took two from the Cubs to stop a five-game skid and hoped to turn things in their favor.
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Braves offense shows signs of life but is still overall disappointing

The Braves' offense looked the best it has in quite a while in their 9-2 drubbing of a win on Thursday, with Marcell Ozuna, Matt Olson, and Adam Duvall all leaving the yard whilst Olson and Michael Harris each saw multi-hit contests.

Duvall's home run opened the scoring in the game with a two-run shot in the third. Ozuna's home run was a three-run bomb that put the game out of reach and was his 15th of the season. He now has the fourth-most homers in baseball, just behind Aaron Judge. That home run was followed by Olson's solo shot in the next at-bat.

But despite some of the bright spots, Ronald Acuña Jr. continued to struggle, going 1-for-12 at the plate and Ozzie Albies wasn't much better at 2-for-11.

That has been the bugaboo for the Braves offense, the worst in the MLB over the past month, as their leadoff guys aren't getting on base, and as a result, the scoring for the Bravos is way down.

If they aren't hitting home runs, which they are doing at a significantly lower rate this year, they are struggling to score runs.

After what seems to be an anomaly of an 11.4% strikeout rate for Acuña in 2023, it's back up to 24.5% this season. In prior seasons, you lived with that simply because when he did make contact, it was good contact and produced a lot of runs.

This year, however, his barrel rate of 4.7% is the lowest it's ever been by quite a mile, with 7.9 in 2020 being his worst coming into the season. His hard-hit rate of 49.2% is also the lowest it's been since 2019 at 47.4%

It's something that I think early on in the season most Braves fans wrote off, but now the longer this slump goes the more concerning it gets. And if the Braves offense wants to get out of its slump, it'll have to start with Acuña getting out of his.

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