May 26, 2022 - Sports

Grading the first quarter of the Atlanta Braves season

Atlanta Braves player Ronald Acuna, Jr. running
Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. snags a base hit against the Marlins this month in Miami. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves are about a quarter through their World Series title defense season.

Catch up quick: Last year, the Braves won it all for the first time since 1995.

  • This season is also the first time since 2010 that first baseman Freddie Freeman is not on the roster.

Reality check: It is notoriously hard to repeat as champions in professional sports, especially in the MLB.

  • There haven’t been back-to-back World Series winners since the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. So, odds are not in the Braves' favor.

Yes, but: Through 42 games this season, Atlanta had an identical record to last year — 19 wins and 23 losses. Maybe history will repeat itself?

Details: While the Braves lost some players key to last year's title run (Freeman, World Series MVP Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson) they did hang on to others (NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario).

  • Marcell Ozuna is back after being placed on administrative leave following his arrest on domestic violence charges.
  • The team's arguably best player, Ronald Acuna Jr., has also returned from a torn ACL. Both players were absent for the majority of the 2021 season and all of the playoffs.
  • The Braves signed Matt Olson to replace Freeman. So far, he has played decently but expectations remain high.

💭 Ross' thought bubble: We’ll give this Braves team a C+ for their first quarter of the season.

  • They don’t seem to be experiencing a title hangover, but coming off a championship win, I would have liked to see some early season momentum propel them to a better record.

What’s next: The Braves wrap up their four-game series with the Phillies on Thursday before welcoming Miami to town for a three-game set. That will conclude their seven-game homestand.

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