5 bold predictions for the Atlanta Braves for the 2024 season

Looking ahead to what should happen in 2024 now that the Braves' have their roster mostly set.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Spencer Strider will be the Braves' best pitcher, but it will be close

Until Spencer Strider became a full-time addition to the Braves' rotation, most would have bet that Max Fried would be Atlanta's unquestioned ace for a long time. From 2017-2022, Fried averaged a 3.09 ERA including a pair of top 5 Cy Young finishes in 2020 and 2022. If you made a list of the best left-handed starters in the league, Fried's name simply has to be on it.

Given that, it is remarkable that Max wouldn't be considered the best pitcher on the Braves' staff, but Spencer Strider has made this a tough debate thanks to an unbelievable start to his career. His strikeout rate is objectively insane and he has already finished second in Rookie of the Year and fourth in Cy Young voting despite only having two full seasons in the league. The sky is the limit when it comes to his potential.

Both pitchers have their issues. The long ball was a problem for Strider last season and Fried's arm health after missing a big chunk of time in 2023 is a real concern. However, we are betting that both are in good form next season and so the question becomes who will be the Braves' best pitcher next season?

Anyone that thinks either Strider or Fried are going to run away with the distinction are fooling themselves. These guys are very different pitchers, but both are extremely good and capable of winning a Cy Young next year. We are going to give the edge to Strider as the strikeout numbers are too good to ignore and he is only getting better and better, but this is going to be close.