Our team is back where they belong, tied for first place in the NL East. It hasn’t been pretty, but the offense and starting pitching seem to be rounding into form. The bullpen still needs some tinkering, but we’ve already received news that Sean Newcomb will be back on Friday and Chris Martin is not far behind. While not bullpen related, Mike Soroka has also been cleared to throw and will essentially restart his Spring Training. He’s expected to be out until mid-June. We should all be celebrating, as no structural shoulder damage is is remarkable news for his career.
So, the team has battled back to .500 and is looking like the team we were promised they’d be when the season began. Let’s take a look at some early season WAR rankings.
Braves fWAR and bWAR Rankings: Offense
- Ronald Acuna Jr.: 1.8 fWAR/1.6 bWAR
- Freddie Freeman: 0.8 fWAR/0.7 bWAR
- Marcell Ozuna: -0.4 fWAR/-0.2 bWAR
- Ozzie Albies: 0.3 fWAR/0.2 bWAR
- Travis d’Arnaud: -0.2 fWAR/-0.2 fWAR
- Dansby Swanson: 0.1 fWAR/-0.1 bWAR
- Austin Riley: 0.6 fWAR/0.9 bWAR
- Guillermo Heredia: 0.8 fWAR/0.7 bWAR
- Pablo Sandoval: 0.4 fWAR/0.3 bWAR
- Ehire Adrianza: 0.2 fWAR/0.1 bWAR
- Ender Inciarte: 0.0 fWAR/0.0 bWAR
- Alex Jackson: -0.2 fWAR/-0.2 bWAR
Breakdown: Acuna Jr. is leading the NL in fWAR and is likely the leading MVP candidate. His combination of above average defense with elite baserunning and hitting will keep him in this conversation all year, if he can stay healthy. Freddie Freeman is still having remarkably poor luck with a BABIP of .219, yet is still carrying a .919 OPS. Freddie isn’t alone in the bad luck department as Ozzie Albies (.206 BABIP), Travis d’Arnaud (.235 BABIP), Marcell Ozuna (.247 BABIP), Ehire Adrianza (.222 BABIP), Alex Jackson (.111 BABIP) have also been hit unlucky. Imagine being in first place with 3 key members of the offensive cog being the victim of rotten luck.
Braves fWAR and bWAR Rankings: Pitching
- Ian Anderson: 0.4 fWAR vs. 1.2 bWAR
- Huascar Ynoa: 0.5 fWAR vs. 0.8 bWAR
- Luke Jackson: 0.0 fWAR vs. 0.4 bWAR
- Charlie Morton: 0.6 fWAR vs. 0.3 bWAR
- Nate Jones: -0.3 fWAR vs. 0.3 bWAR
- Will Smith: 0.3 fWAR vs. 0.2 bWAR
- Sean Newcomb: 0.1 fWAR vs. 0.1 bWAR
- A.J. Minter: 0.3 fWAR vs. 0.1 bWAR
- Tyler Matzek: 0.1 fWAR vs. 0.0 bWAR
- Josh Tomlin: 0.3 fWAR vs. 0.0 bWAR
- Jacob Webb: 0.0 fWAR vs. -0.1 bWAR
- Bryse Wilson:-0.3 fWAR vs. -0.1 bWAR
- Jesse Biddle: -0.1 fWAR vs. -0.1 bWAR
- Grant Dayton: 0.0 fWAR vs. -0.1 bWAR
- Drew Smyly: -0.3 fWAR vs. -0.5 bWAR
- Max Fried: -0.1 fWAR vs. -0.7 bWAR
- Kyle Wright: -0.1 fWAR vs. -0.1 bWAR
Breakdown: Alright, B. Alright, F. I’ve got a problem with both of you people. First, B…how is is that you rate Will Smith, who’s carrying a 13.5 K/9 with a 6.3 BB/9 at 0.2 WAR, yet have both Luke Jackson and Nate Jones with 0.3 WAR? Luke carries a 1.615 WHIP and walks 7.3/9, while Nate walks 6.5/9. Not to mention that Ian has pitched 3 times as many innings. And now for you, fWAR. Ian Anderson at 0.5? ARE YOU HIGH? You’ve got A.J. Minter, who has 38% of the innings and an ERA a full run higher than Ian at 0.3.
It’s the day to put it away. Let’s get above .500 and never look back.