The Atlanta Braves’ 2023 season has been a power trip. Their lineup’s overall clout must be allowed and continued. As of August 15, the Braves have MLB’s best team batting average (.275), scored the most runs (700), are first in on-base percentage (.345), and lead in slugging percentage (.502). And the most potent statistic is their 231 team home runs, which lead MLB by a wide margin. In addition, setting a team record for home runs in a single season is among other achievable goals. The Minnesota Twins set the record with 309 in 2019. Unsurprisingly, the Braves have the best record in MLB (77-42) and are running away with the NL East Division. So the focus turns to the fences.
I’ve Got The Power
Britannica.com defines the term “Power Trip” as “an activity or way of behaving that makes a person feel powerful.” That explains the 2023 Braves.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, with 186 home runs, rank second. The Dodgers are the only other club to clear the 180-home-run threshold. Just two teams, the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays, have more than 170 home runs. The sites are set on a single-season record.
The Braves’ 231 home runs are also on pace to break the franchise record 249 set in 2019.
“More Power” (To Quote a Grunting Tim Allen)
The Braves average 1.9 home runs per game and are on pace to hit 314 homers this season. The power is shared.
While Matt Olson leads MLB with 43 home runs, his teammates are keeping close company. He is followed by Austin Riley’s 29, Ozzie Albies, who has 28, and Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 27. Marcell Ozuna is behind with 24, and Sean Murphy has 20.
A late-season surge by Eddie Rosario, who currently stands at 17, and Orlando Arcia, who has 13, would enable the Braves to equal the record of eight players with 20 or more home runs in a season, also set by that 2019 Twins team.
Also, five Twins players hit 30 home runs that year, which is a more attainable goal for this season’s Braves.
The Braves’ power surge can lead one to imagine the previously unthinkable. Given the overall strength of the lineup, it would be astounding but not surprising if the Braves hit five consecutive home runs. They are capable.
Back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs (four straight) have been achieved 11 times in MLB history. The most recent was the Cardinals on July 2, 2022, when Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez, and Dylan Carlson homered in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The then-Milwaukee Braves were the first team to hit four straight, having done so on June 8, 1961, when Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, and Frank Thomas homered in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds.
This year’s Braves team has the potential to hit five consecutive. The only question is: Which five among the power-laden lineup would most likely do so?