The Atlanta Braves are playing like one of the worst teams in MLB history
The Atlanta Braves are bad. Really bad. They’re in the basement of the NL East after just 25 games and sit 12 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals. Nothing has gone right for the rebuilding squad this season as Atlanta has given its fans very little to cheer about just one year before it moves into its new ballpark.
Their 6-19 record is obviously atrocious and the worst in baseball, but wins and losses don’t tell the full story. The Braves are playing like one of the worst teams in MLB history, particularly on offense. Star power is absent and there is no ace in the rotation with the team showing no signs of getting any better.
Granted, it’s still early and we’re not even a quarter of the way through the season, but things look bleak for Atlanta. And if the Braves don’t turn it around quickly, they could go down as one of the worst teams ever.
Here’s a look at just how bad the Braves have been in 2016.
Their five home runs as a team are the fewest in baseball … by 12. By comparison, the St. Louis Cardinals lead the majors with 40 home runs — 35 more than the Braves. In fact, 27 players have more home runs by themselves than the Braves have as a team. At one point, Andrew McCutchen hit as many home runs in one game (three) as the Braves hit on the year.
No player has a batting average above .300. Nick Markakis leads the team with a .293 batting average and 20 of Atlanta’s 78 RBI. He has yet to hit a home run, which isn’t all that surprising, but his 11 extra-base hits are five more than any of his teammates.
They’re the only team in the National League with zero triples. This one explains itself. Despite being tied for 19th in the majors with 10 stolen bases, the Braves’ lack of speed on the base paths is as clear as day.
They’re on pace to win just 38 games. Only one team in the modern era has won fewer than 38 games in a full season and that was the Philadelphia Athletics in 1916. If the Braves do win just 38 games, it’ll be tied for the second-fewest since 1900.
They allowed four of the league’s 17 grand slams hit in April. In 2015, the Braves were the only team in baseball to not give up a single grand slam. Now, they’re handing them out to everyone they play.
Atlanta’s .228 batting average is the third-worst in the league. A full 59 points below the league-leading Pittsburgh Pirates. If you can’t hit, you can’t get on base. And if you can’t get on base, you don’t score runs.
Their 18 losses in April are the most in franchise history. It was a historically-bad month for the Braves, and it hasn’t gotten much better in May. Here’s to hoping they’ll win more than five games in a single month this season, which is how many they won in April.
The only team with fewer runs than the Braves (80) are the Rays (77). Somehow, a MLB team has scored fewer runs than the Braves. What’s incredible about this stat is that the Rays have hit 28 home runs compared to the Braves’ five. The Rays’ offense is bad, but at least they have some pop in their lineup.
Only one win was by more than three runs. Despite only winning six games thus far, the Braves’ committee of closers has done a decent job locking down games. Of their six wins, five have come by three or fewer runs, which add up to five saves from the bullpen.
The Braves are the only team with a higher OBP than SLG. This shouldn’t happen and it almost never does. Atlanta’s .297 on-base percentage isn’t the worst in the league, but its .289 slugging percentage is — and by a wide margin. The next closest team is San Diego at .353.
The Braves have a long way to go to salvage their season, and while their odds of making the playoffs are slim to none, they can avoid being one of the worst teams in history. They just have to win 31 of the next 137. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?
At least they’ll have one player in the All-Star Game!