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3 Stats That Prove the Braves Are Legitimate World Series Contenders in 2021

Larry Rupp
Statistics that prove the Atlanta Braves are legitimate World Series contender in 2021.
Statistics that prove the Atlanta Braves are legitimate World Series contender in 2021. / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves proved they are not messing around anymore as they took the Los Angeles Dodgers to a Game 7 in the NLCS last season before eventually being defeated. They head into the 2021 season as a top team and are tied for the fifth-best odds in the MLB to win the World Series at +1000, according to MLB future odds posted on FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Braves do not seem to receive as much praise and hype as teams such as the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox. However, they are legitimate World Series contenders and here are three stats that prove why.

1. 5.62 Runs per Game

Austin Riley, Ronald Acuna Jr.
The Braves score a lot of runs and that helps them win a lot of games. / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It is no secret that the Atlanta Braves offense can rack up runs in bunches. Atlanta's 5.62 runs per game mark last season ranked No. 2 in the MLB behind only the World Series champion Dodgers. The Braves are bringing back almost their entire starting lineup from last season and it wouldn't be surprising to see them pick up right where they left off. The daunting trio of Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna has to be one of the most feared in the league. All three of those players are capable of hitting 30+ home runs in addition to 100+ RBI this season.

2. 88.2% Stolen Base Percentage

Dansby Swanson
Stealing bases is crucial to getting a leg up on the opposing team. / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Braves only averaged 0.42 stolen bases per game last season (No. 15 in the MLB), but their stolen base percentage of 88.2% ranked No. 2. They only trailed the Oakland Athletics in that department. A percentage that high shows that the Braves take advantage of situations in which they think they can steal a bag. They aren't taking unnecessary risks, but rather setting up the batters for more RBI opportunities. Acuna Jr. led the team with 8 stolen bases in 46 games last season and could easily swipe 25+ bags in 2021. Shortstop Dansby Swanson and second baseman Ozzie Albies also have the speed to steal double-digit bases.

3. .403 Opponent Slugging Percentage

Max Fried
Atlanta's steady pitching rotation will be a key to success this season. / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

When it comes to the pitching side of the game, the Braves starting staff knows how to keep the ball in the ballpark. They ranked in the top 10 of MLB teams when it came to opponent home run percentage and opponent home runs per game last season. Plus, the .403 opponent slugging percentage ranked as the 11th best mark in the MLB. Their core remains young, but the Braves did sign veteran pitcher Charlie Morton (18-8 over last two seasons) in the offseason as well as Drew Smyly (3.42 ERA last season). If they can stay healthy, they only improve what is a very balanced Braves team.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.