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2022 MLB season preview: Atlanta Braves

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

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The reigning World Series champions had some decisions to make, but none more difficult than what to do with Freddie Freeman. The 32-year-old first baseman was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2007 and spent his entire career with the franchise, right up until the Braves made a trade to acquire A’s first baseman Matt Olson. That signaled the end of an era and a very emotional day for the organization. Otherwise, Jorge Soler signed with the Marlins but the Braves kept most of their core group intact.

With a few depth additions and a couple of key bullpen acquisitions, this team is poised to make another run at the Commissioner’s Trophy. The division is not easy and neither is the road to a repeat, but Atlanta brings another strong team into the 2022 season.

2022 VSiN MLB Betting Guide

Offense

The biggest “free agent” addition is getting Ronald Acuna Jr. back from a torn ACL, as the Braves managed to win it all without their star outfielder. His return is slated for early May as a DH and he’ll be back in the outfield a little later. In a lot of respects, this is his team now. The 24-year-old was on pace for a career year with 4.2 fWAR in 82 games when he blew out his knee just before the All-Star Break. He was on pace to top the 41 homers he hit in 2019 and had cut down on his strikeouts.

During that 2019 season, Acuna had 57 “barrels,” which represent batted balls with an expected batting average of .500 or better and an expected slugging percentage of 1.500 or higher. In 2021, he had 44 “barrels” in effectively half a season. His contact quality was off the charts and he should get right back on track.

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