The Atlanta Braves are the best team in baseball. It's not just me saying that. In fact, MLB executives feel the same way.
The Braves were built the right way. Whether it be via international signings, smart trades or minor free-agent acquisitions, seemingly every move Alex Anthopoulos has made over the last three years (as well as the regime prior), has worked out in the Braves favor. Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Sean Murphy and more are signed long term. This team isn't going anywhere, and the Braves have a core to build around -- literally.
Rival executives are scared of the Atlanta Braves
Rival executives can only admire what Atlanta has built in a short amount of time. The Braves received universal praise in an article by ESPN's Jesse Rogers, in which they were asked to predict the team's postseason success.
"They're balanced, with power from both sides of the plate," one executive said. "Right-handed, it's Acuna, [Austin] Riley, [Marcell] Ozuna. Left-handed, it's [Matt] Olson, [Eddie] Rosario, [Michael] Harris [II], and then [Ozzie] Albies is the switch. He's better from the right side, but still has 23 home runs from the left."
Sadly for teams hoping to defeat the Braves, their pitching was deemed a strength as well.
"Spencer Strider, Max Fried and Charlie Morton's stuff and experience are arguably as good a 1-3 as anyone has in a short series, and [Bryce] Elder has emerged as a consistent, reliable starter as well," another executive said.
There are few weaknesses on this Braves team. Entering the season, shortstop was viewed as a sore spot, as well as corner outfield. Both have been filled, though, with the excellent play or Orlando Arcia and even Eddie Rosario. When Max Fried and Kyle Wright were injured, Atlanta made do with Morton, Elder and Spencer Strider.
The next man up mentality from this Atlanta team has been inspiring, and frankly it's worked. Despite the loss of Freddie Freeman two seasons ago, and Dansby Swanson this past winter, the Braves are a well-oiled machine.
The system is working.