Even when the Atlanta Braves are down, are they ever really down? Despite a disappointing postseason with an early exit forced by the Phillies, the Braves' reputation as one of the most indomitable teams in MLB has barely taken a hit. Spencer Strider, Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson — these are household names. Many of the Braves' best players are locked down for years to come. Fans already have a lot they could ever want, but what if they could have even more? Enter: the 2024 dream rotation.
The dream 2024 Atlanta Braves rotation
The strength of the top of Braves rotation in real life is undeniable, and it's very likely they'll dominate in 2024 the same way they did in 2023, but nothing is perfect. Shuffle a few guys around, add a few hot free agents, and what do you get? One of the most unhittable rotations in baseball, probably. Here's what the Braves rotation might look like if money wasn't a consideration, and if all of the pitching free agents in this year's class only had eyes for the Braves.
The Braves are in an enviable position; their real life ace is not only better than most other teams' real life aces, he's better than a lot of their dream aces too. By the end of his career, Spencer Strider is going to need entire record books dedicated to him. This year, he broke John Smoltz's record for strikeouts in a single season by an Brave, and got tantalizingly close to being only the 20th pitcher in the modern era to strike out 300 batters in a season, finishing the year with 281, the most in MLB by a wide margin.
Everything was dialed up for Strider this year, in the not-so-good ways as well as the good; his ERA was up to 3.86 from 2.67 in 2022, and he gave up 60 more hits and 41 more earned runs. But he also pitched 50 more innings, his walk rate was down, and his K rate stayed about the same. He also stayed healthy for the entire season, which is remarkable given how many innings he pitched and how hard he throws (his 97.2 mph fastball velocity is in the 93rd percentile, according to Baseball Savant).
It feels impossible to say, but the best is yet to come for Strider. He's still young and has only put in two real years of work in the big leagues. If anyone's going to add their name to that 300 strikeouts list in the near future, it's going to be Spencer Strider.