It has been a historic first half for the Atlanta Braves to say the least. If fans were to draw up how they wanted the first 89 games to go, I’m not sure they could have produced something this fun to watch. There’s been thrilling finishes, dominating wins, magical pitching performances, and a LOT OF HOME RUNS.
All of that equals up to a 60-29 record (best in MLB) and 8.5 game lead in the division over Miami. Because we have officially reached the All-Star break, a fun exercise to practice is handing out some grades for each category on the team.
As you can imagine the best record leads to some pretty high feedback. If this was a midterm exam, you would think the Braves have been studying since the syllabus was handed out. So, without further hesitation let’s jump into our grades.
Does anyone in the world have better job than Kevin Seitzer? Getting to work with these Braves hitters’ has to be one of the more rewarding experiences as far as a career is concerned. There just isn’t much to complain about with this lineup.
The lineup features 7 regulars that play every game, a better than average platoon in left field, and the best 1-2 catching duo the league has to offer. The LOWEST slugging percentage from the usual lineup is .424 (both MH2 and Arcia). By comparison that .424 mark would be good for second best among qualified hitters on the Oakland A’s.
They have 11 hitters with a wRC+ over league average (100). They have the NL MVP front-runner and a guy who would finish top five in voting if the season ended today. Just to give an idea of how dominant this offense has been, let’s take a look at some statistics.
- 121 wRC+ (1st in NL)
- .356 wOBA & .222 ISO (1st in MLB)
- .492 SLG & .831 OPS (1st in MLB)
- 45.9% Hard Hit percentage & 12.1% Barrel percentage (1st in MLB)
- 169 HRs (1st in MLB)
Just ludacris stuff from the Atlanta offense. They hit the ball hard, they can steal bases, they have depth, and most importantly they score a ton of runs. Leading in all these categories leaves me no choice but to give them the highest grade possible.