1. Atlanta Braves Player in July: Matt Olson
Matt Olson leads all of baseball in home runs and RBI. He has already set a career high with 43 dingers and has Andruw Jones' franchise record of 51 in his sights.
A month ago, it would have been laughable to argue Olson has a chance at snatching the MVP from Acuna Jr., but it's not so funny now.
July was Olson's best full month of the year and really helped alter the trajectory of his season for the better. The homers have been there all year. He hit eight in April, nine in May, 11 in June, and added eight more in July.
He actually drove in fewer runs in July (22) than he did in June (25). Of course, he did play in two fewer games in July due to the All-Star break. his 1.093 OPS was the highest of the year (so far). He slugged an impressive .675 for the month, good for the ninth-best mark in the league.
His eight dingers were right in line with what he's been doing all year and that number was good for the fifth-most in the game. He continued his patient ways at the plate and walked in 13.3% of his plate appearances. He also cut his strikeout rate down to 21.4%, which has been credited to the increase in his batting average.
Olson entered July with a .246 average and left with a .263. He brought his OPS up from .924 to .960. Olson finished July with 1.2 fWAR.
He finished the month by blasting four homers in his last four games with nine RBI and a .500 average. Olson has kept that momentum up in August. As good as July was, August has been even better! Let's hope Matt keeps it going.
Enjoy these Braves, folks! They are special.