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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Braves Have What It Takes for a Surprising World Series Run

The Braves were the National League’s premier franchise in the 1990s, ripping off 14 consecutive NL East titles from 1991-2005. Are we at the doorstep of a new golden age of baseball in Atlanta? It may be a bit premature to even raise such a question, though after winning the NL East in 2018 and 2019, the infrastructure for sustained success is in place. So allow us to hopscotch ahead to a bigger question: Could the Braves win it all ... this year?

There’s a case to be made, and we’re here to lay out the blueprint.

Dominant Top Four

It’s hard to find a NL team with a better top four in the lineup than Atlanta. The Braves scored a run in 35.7% of first innings this season, second in all of baseball. Their leadoff hitter is largely to thank. Ronald Acuna Jr. enters the season’s final week leading the NL in runs and stolen bases, three steals away from becoming the fifth 40-40 club member in MLB history. He’s one of three players to hit 40 homers in a season before turning 22. Only seven players under 22 have scored more runs in a single season. Acuna is perhaps the most valuable asset in the National League. One hot month could swing the postseason.

Mind you, with baseball being baseball and playoffs being the playoffs, it could end like five of their last six NL East titles did in that streak….

 

QLE Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, playoffs, world series

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:57 AM (#5882816)
The Braves (and Nationals) losing the first playoff series they play has become an October tradition.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5882866)
As a Mets fan that was most devout in the 90s, I've had a long-held antipathy for the Braves. Recently I've found the team more tolerable, and have even partially enjoyed their success, because they have individual players that are fun to watch. Part of that, though, is because I watch fewer games than I used to, and so am not continually objected to the stultifying Tomahawk chop, which is probably my least favorite thing in sports. It sounds like the entire stadium has been brainwashed. No doubt when I turn on the television in October, I will again hate the Braves and hope for their quick exit.
   3. flournoy Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5882877)
I've been meaning to bring my foam tomahawk to work to display on top of a shelf in my office, thanks for reminding me.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5882888)
Dominant Top Four

It’s hard to find a NL team with a better top four in the lineup than Atlanta.


Is this a thing? I have never heard this cited as a reason for playoff success. I have no idea why your first four batters are more important than your next four, except for the slight advantage in PA/G.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5882892)
Part of that, though, is because I watch fewer games than I used to, and so am not continually objected to the stultifying Tomahawk chop, which is probably my least favorite thing in sports.
After every pitch. Every. #######. Pitch.
   6. Lassus Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5882899)
I'm am neither evolved enough nor too proud to admit I'll be thrilled to root against the Braves this October. The more painful exit the better.

Hopefully on a bad call, on which the joy will unfortunately be significantly lessened now that Sam's gone.
   7. TomH Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5882910)
Only a Cards fan could root against ATL as they compete against an inferior team that has already more than their share of playoff good fortune this millennium.
   8. Lassus Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5882921)
Well, that's certainly not true.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5882922)
Well, that's certainly not true.

Yeah, I always root against Atlanta. Also the Red Sox and Dodgers.
   10. Lassus Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5882929)
I don't even always root against the Yankees. (Although, granted, the only exception was 2001.)

But Atlanta, yes. If winning a game mean the Braves will cure cancer, well, sorry everyone.
   11. Itchy Row Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5882935)
Well it would have been a surprise if this article hadn't spoiled it for everybody.
   12. villageidiom Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5882940)
If the Red Sox aren't in it I usually root for the team that has gone the longest without winning.

As a byproduct that means I most often root against the Yankees. But if the Yankees oblige me by having a 50-year drought I can finally root for them.
   13. flournoy Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5882950)
It seems bizarre to me that only three of the playoff teams (presuming the Cubs don't make it) will have won a World Series more recently than the Braves.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5882952)
But if the Yankees oblige me by having a 50-year drought I can finally root for them.


I'm pretty sure that still wouldn't be enough for me.

   15. bunyon Posted: September 25, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5882974)
I'd forgotten how sweet Mets tears are.
   16. Karl from NY Posted: September 25, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5882991)
As a Mets fan that was most devout in the 90s, I've had a long-held antipathy for the Braves. Recently I've found the team more tolerable

Same here. The absence of Chipper Jones and John Rocker is a big part of that, there's no personal animosity now.

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