The Atlanta Braves have entered the 2022 campaign with a few new faces but the same goal- to go back to back. The defending World Series champions had a special “Champion’s Week” homestead to start the season.
They split their first series of the year against the Cincinnati Reds followed by losing two of three to their division rival Washington Nationals.
The Braves would then begin their first road trip of the season, heading out west for a four game series with the San Diego Padres before meeting the Dodgers on April 14.
In the series versus the Padres, the Braves would lose 12-1 in the first game followed by back-to-back 5-2 victories before falling 2-1 in ESPN’s prime time Sunday Night Baseball.
Atlanta has familiar faces as star infielders Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson are the everyday second baseman and shortstop.
Power hitting right hander Marcel Ozuna returns to the team after missing the 2020 and 2021 season due to a domestic violence dispute.
Joining Ozuna in the outfield is the hard hitting Adam Duvall, who the Braves traded for last season before the trade deadline and free agent acquisition Alex Dickerson.
Star player Ronald Acuña is still recovering and rehabbing from a torn ACL. The lineup will gain an extra boost once he returns.
Braves legend and future Hall of Famer Freddie Freeman did not return to the team this year as he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers during offseason free agency.
The Braves front office would make some moves however, trading for all-star first basemen Matt Olsen from the Oakland Athletics. Olsen has been a lifelong Braves fan his entire life and has big shoes to fill.
The pitching staff for the Braves is as solid as they come. Returning starters from last year’s World Series championship roster include Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, and Kyle Wright.
The bullpen was a question all season long last year before coming in clutch during the postseason. The Braves went all out on relief pitcher Kenley Jansen, known for his time as the closer with the LA Dodgers.
It is too early to tell how successful this team will be in the first few months of the season. However, as we enter the dog days of summer, the Braves will be contending for a division title against the Mets and Nationals.
Will they repeat last year? History is not on the side of the Braves but if you watch baseball, you know one thing: anything can happen.
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