The bats of the Atlanta Braves have been unstoppable this season.
The Braves are on pace to hit 306.8 home runs this year, just slightly less than MLB's single-season record of 307 home runs set by the Minnesota Twins in 2019. Atlanta has 30 games to set the record after the team broke its franchise record for home runs in a season with its 250th in a 7-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
Kevin Pillar, Marcell Ozuna and Orlando Arcia all homered Wednesday to build on the Braves' MLB-leading mark.
🚨 RECORD ALERT 🚨
This Orlando Arcia dinger just set a new single-season franchise record for team HRs (250). pic.twitter.com/3ZAfUdqNo4
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 31, 2023
It shouldn't be surprising that the Braves are pushing for the home run record. Five Atlanta batters rank top-15 in home runs this season: Matt Olson (43, one behind MLB leader Shohei Ohtani), Ozuna (31), Austin Riley (31), Ronald Acuña Jr. (29) and Ozzie Albies (28). The Braves would be the first team since those 2019 Twins to have five players with at least 30 home runs if Acuña and Albies add to their totals.
“We’ve been a team that slugs,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Wednesday. “That’s how we’re constructed, and the guys do it.”
Atlanta is 13.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East, with an 87-45 record, and four games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top seed in the National League.
The manner in which they've won games has been even more impressive. The Braves hold a plus-235 run differential this season, which is 49 runs higher than that of the second-best Tampa Bay Rays. Oddly enough, that isn't higher than the the all-time record set by the 2022 Dodgers, who finished with a plus-334 run differential. Two other teams — the 1998 New York Yankees and 2001 Seattle Mariners — also finished with run differentials of more than 300 runs.
Part of this is thanks to the home runs, but the Braves have also been incredibly deadly at the plate overall. Atlanta has the highest batting average (.276) and OPS (.845), with a league-leading 744 RBI and 5.83 runs per game.
The Braves are cruising to a sixth consecutive NL East title and very well could be on their way to another deep postseason run if the team's impressive offensive play continues. The home run record would be a cherry on top of Atlanta's sensational season.