The Team: Atlanta Braves
The Braves are the NL East’s surprise team of 2017. Their 24-30 record is good enough for second behind the Washington Nationals, whose 10.5 game lead is too comfortable at this time of year.
The offense has posted 245 runs (21st in baseball). Oddly enough, their .266 average is an MLB top ten statistic. The Braves scattered their offensive numbers quite a bit as they come in near the middle of baseball with a .748 OPS. They are not a very powerful team overall and tend to strike out less than most teams.
Pitching has not been a strong point for Atlanta. A team ERA of 4.58 has them sinking toward the bottom of baseball and the 191 walks are near the top ten. The Braves are not far off the Phils’ mark for highest team average (Phils: .273 for worst in baseball and Atlanta: .258 for 22nd in baseball).
Opposing teams’ OPS this season is a solid .768 against Atlanta pitchers. They have allowed 74 homers, which ranks in the bottom ten of baseball.
Defensively, the Braves rank 28th in baseball in fielding percentage. Their 41 errors are tied for next to last in all of baseball. Without Freddie Freeman at first, the defense probably worsens significantly.
Although the Braves have been playing winning baseball, the Phils took care of them earlier in the season and I expect a similar situation this time around in Atlanta.