The Atlanta Braves are going into the second half of the MLB season with a shot at breaking records.
The team entered the All-Star break with a 60-29 record, the best in all of baseball and on pace for 109 wins. That’s just seven off the 2001 Seattle Mariners‘ record-breaking 116-win season. Are we saying the Braves are going to reach that incredible mark? We are not. But still, the team’s dominance is something to behold. Here’s just a sampling of Atlanta’s incredible 2023 season, by the numbers.
Thinking about those Beaneaters
The Braves have a history that’s the envy of most other franchises, but this season is special even by those lofty standards. For one thing, they reached 60 wins in just 88 games, which ties the record for the fastest to 60 wins in franchise history. The kicker here is that the teams they tied weren’t even called the Braves at the time. We have to go all the way back to the 1893 and 1884 Boston Beaneaters, who later became the Atlanta Braves, to hit that mark.
The Beaneaters of the 1800s also show up in another stat here: Going into the second half, the Braves rank in the top three in all of MLB in win percentage, home runs and run differential. If they end up leading in all of those categories, it’ll be the first time the franchise has done so since the 1897 Beaneaters. Just to give you a sense of how dramatically the game has changed since the 19th century, that Beaneaters squad led all of baseball with 45 home runs.
Home run kings
Speaking of home runs, the Braves are launching them out of the park at a historic pace. Their 169 home runs are the most in MLB history at the All-Star break, beating the 2019 Minnesota Twins by three. That Twins squad finished the season with 307, currently an MLB record. The Braves are on pace for … 307.6. Matt Olson leads the squad with 29 homers, three behind Shohei Ohtani for the most in MLB.
Acuna’s master class
Ronald Acuna Jr. was already one of the most exciting players in baseball before this season, and he has kicked things up a notch. The right fielder is third on the team with 21 home runs, but he’s also second in the league in stolen bases with 41, while being caught only seven times. He reached the 20 HR/40 SB mark in 84 games, which is the fastest anyone has ever done so in MLB history. To give you a sense of how incredible that is, the previous record holder was Rickey Henderson in his legendary 1990 season, in which he took 90 games to do so.
Acuna already put up a 30-30 season in 2019 and could join Ron Gant as the only Braves players with multiple 30-30 campaigns. He even has a shot at 40-40, which hasn’t happened in MLB since Alfonso Soriano did so in 2006.
That’s not to say the Braves win games merely by outslugging their opponents, however. They’re also first in the league in ERA at 3.63. Only five teams in the past century have finished the season No. 1 in both OPS and ERA, and one of them was the 1927 New York Yankees, for which Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. Three of those five teams, including the Yankees, went on to win the World Series. We’ll see if the Braves can keep up their historic pace and become the fourth.
Data from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this story.