MLB News and Rumors

MLB Insider Names Braves Slugger as Biggest Beneficiary of 2023 Rule Changes

Devon Platana
An MLB insider has named an Atlanta Braves slugger as the biggest beneficiary of the 2023 rule changes.
An MLB insider has named an Atlanta Braves slugger as the biggest beneficiary of the 2023 rule changes. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nearly two weeks ago, Major League Baseball revealed several upcoming rule changes for the 2023 season, ranging from a 15-second pitch clock to limiting the infield shift. We're still several months away from these changes coming into play, leaving fans wondering how the new rules will impact the game.

The Athletic's Eno Sarris has made a list of players who'll benefit most from the upcoming rule changes. When it comes to the shift ban, Sarris sees Atlanta Braves slugger Matt Olson as one of the biggest beneficiaries.

Atlanta Braves News

According to the rule change, each MLB team must have two infielders on each side of second base prior to a pitch being thrown. At least four players must also have their feet on the infield dirt's boundaries, which could wind up helping Olson.

The 28-year-old first baseman — a left-handed hitter — has had to face the shift more often than not this season. According to Baseball Savant, Olson has faced the shift in 82.3 % of his plate appearances this season — his fourth straight year dealing with a percentage that high or worse.

When he's up against the shift, Olson only has a weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .326. However, that number improves to a .372 wOBA when there isn't a shift.

Sarris sees Olson getting at least four more hits up the middle with the new changes. Considering how he's already racked up 134 hits, 28 home runs and 91 RBIs in 149 games this season, it's safe to say that his production could increase even more in 2023.

Nevertheless, we won't know how the rules will affect Olson and other players for a few more months. For now, the Braves will turn their attention to the 2022 World Series hunt as they look to win it all for the second year in a row.

Braves World Series Odds

Atlanta currently owns the third-best record in the National League and is just one game behind the New York Mets in the NL East. Accordingly, the Braves are well-positioned for another deep October run. Not surprisingly, they have the fifth-best World Series odds (+950) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. 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.