Braves No. 1 starter: Spencer Strider, RHP
Despite the overall playoff disappointment of the Braves in 2023, Spencer Strider showed a strong step forward in his young career.
In his playoff debut in 2022, he pitched just one game in the NLDS loss to the Phillies and got absolutely shelled, lasting only 2.1 innings and giving up five runs. He made two starts in the 2023 postseason, however, giving up four earned runs (five total) over 12.2 innings. Unfortunately, the high-powered Atlanta offense gave him just one combined run of support over his two starts, which both ended in losses for the Braves.
Though there was some fading from Strider in the regular season as he pitched by far his career-high in 186.2 innings, he still showed that he's the ace of the future for the Braves. He ended the season witha. disappointing 3.86 ERA but still sported a nice 1.09 WHIP, was a 20-game winner and, most importantly perhaps, struck out 281.
Now 25 years old as we go into the 2024 season, the next step forward for Strider is quite obvious as the Braves will be hoping he can show a bit more consistency as his ERA was almost a full run worse in the second half compared to the first. He's clearly got all of the goods and the belief should be that Alex Anthopoulos and Brian Snitker will continue to put him in such positions.