At the start of the season, few expected that the Atlanta Braves would be leading the NL East come the end of June. Yet, here we are, despite the Braves’ recent struggles. They are fighting for a playoff berth in one of the toughest divisions. And Ronald Acuna Jr. just rejoined the fight.
Despite having a lackluster month of June, the Atlanta Braves have managed to build on their division lead. One which they have roughly held in their grasp since May.
However, the extensive work the Braves have done to build their lead is at risk of being undone; the Braves’ recent struggles have halted their plans to expand the division lead. But it appears that those struggles may have reached an end.
With the oncoming return of Ronald Acuna Jr. from his month-long absence, the Braves are set to get an immediate boost for their lineup. Atlanta will certainly welcome Acuna back into the lineup, albeit slowly, given Acuna’s importance to the Braves.
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The Braves especially felt Acuna’s absence during their recent homestand. During this stretch, the Braves took 2 out of 6 games against the Orioles and the Reds.
This stretch of games illustrated the Braves’ struggles against teams they’re supposed to beat. But it also goes to show the importance that Acuna is returning right now.
Ronald Acuna plays with a certain energy and excitement that the Atlanta Braves need. And now is the time they need it the most.
In fact, the Braves current situation gives Acuna an opportunity to be a spark plug. He can ignite the team, and lift them out of their recent struggles.
And perhaps he can elevate their NL East lead and give them some comfort going into the second half of the season.