At least one Braves star busts out of slump, but it's not Ronald Acuna Jr.

Austin Riley's luck may finally be turning around.
Austin Riley is finally shaking off his early season rust
Austin Riley is finally shaking off his early season rust / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The following statements are all true. Ronald Acuna Jr. hasn't come close to replicating last year's MVP numbers. Matt Olson, who led the majors in home runs with 54 in 2023, is on pace for just 16. Austin Riley has posted an OPS of .861 or better in the last three years but is currently at just .697. The Atlanta Braves are also 20-9, the best record in baseball.

The rest of the National League should be afraid because even with ace Spencer Strider lost for the season to injury and their best three hitters scuffling through an unusually quiet April, the Braves are still the class of the league, better than the free-spending Dodgers, the perpetual thorn in their side Phillies, and the up-and-coming Cubs.

Nobody expects Atlanta's All-Star trio to continue slumping. Acuna set the league on fire last year with a combination of power and speed that the game has never seen by bashing 41 homers and swiping 73 bases. Olson outpaced the entire league by seven homers while also leading the majors with 139 RBIs. Riley led all third basemen in WAR. When, not if, they get going, watch out.

At least one of Atlanta's sluggers appears to finally be heating up, which is bad news for the Braves upcoming opponents

Austin Riley has been swinging the bat better of late but hasn't had much to show for it. As detailed in an article on yesterday, his underlying numbers have been more impressive than his actual results recently, but his luck may be turning after a two-hit effort in a 5-2 win over the Mariners yesterday that included a two-run triple.

Riley got off to a slow start last year too, but now with five hits over his last four games, it looks like he may be on his way to repeating last year's production. He'll hope to continue his hot streak when the Braves head to L.A. to begin a three-game series with the high-powered Dodgers.

Other Braves have picked up the slack, most notably Marcell Ozuna, Ozzie Albies, and Michael Harris. It's a testament to the Braves' depth that even without much help from their three best players, they still lead the league in runs scored per game.

Riley is turning things around, and Acuna and Olson won't be far behind. Atlanta is already on pace to blow past last season's 104 wins. How high can they go?