The Atlanta Braves were one win away from the World Series last season in 2020. Even without their ace pitcher, Mike Soroka. With Soroka still out for the beginning of the 2021 season, the expectations were the same, to win a World Series. They have the team to do it, but the Atlanta Braves have started their 2021 campaign off in a disappointing fashion. A team that almost beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to go to the World Series is not supposed to start off this badly.
So why are the World Series contender Braves off to such a rough start? Well the offense might have something to do with it. The everyday starting nine position players are all hitting below .300 except for Ronald Acuna Jr. who is off to one of the hottest starts to a season in Braves history. Ronald Acuna Jr. is hitting .419 with 7 home runs and a 1.373 OPS. Obviously, he will not be able to keep that pace throughout the entire season, but hopefully he can stay consistent to keep the Braves somewhat relevant. The next highest batting average is Freddie Freeman’s .233. He also has 5 home runs, so overall not terrible but for the rest of the lineup it is bad. Most guys are in the low .200’s or .100’s. That is not going to win many baseball games at any level, much less the major leagues.
With Mike Soroka out for the first month of the season, everyone expected Max Fried to carry over his ace like stuff from last season. Well, in Fried’s first 3 starts he has given up 14 earned runs in 11 innings pitched with only 14 strikeouts. Not exactly what people expected out of him. The other four pitchers in the starting rotation are Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, Drew Smyly, and Huascar Ynoa. Those four guys have an average ERA of 4.57, which is not too bad but when you consider how bad the offense has been, then it is pretty tough to win games.
Obviously, it is still early in the season but do the Atlanta Braves and their fans need to start worrying? Baseball is a crazy sport and absolutely anything can happen. Everyone will just have to wait and see if the Atlanta Braves can come back from this bad start.