The Atlanta Braves have the second best record in the National League and the fifth best record overall, but how does their roster stack up with the other elite teams in baseball?
Earlier this summer, I began reading “Now Taking The Field: Baseball’s All-Time Dream Teams for All 30 Franchises” a 607-page in-depth book written by Tom Stone using WAR as the barometer for selecting each franchise’s best at each position.
This got me to thinking about analyzing the Atlanta Braves roster based on WAR and how it compares to the other contenders in baseball.
It also might give us some insight as to how close or far the Braves are from making some noise in October.
I used Baseball Reference’s WAR as the only stat to evaluate and I took the division leaders from both leagues (Yankees, Twins, Astros, Cubs and Dodgers), as well as the wild card leader in each league (Indians and Nationals) and added the WAR of each player to reach a final number.
It’s entirely possible that the A’s or Rays or Cardinals or Mets might ultimately win the one-game playoff and move on to the Divisional Round, but for the sake of time, I chose just one wild card team.
Per each roster, I took the starting lineup, plus any other player with 200 or more at-bats, the projected starting rotation and the five relievers who have pitched the most innings. However, I did take into consideration key injuries and recent trades to fill out the rosters.
This exercise is far from perfect, but it could elicit some interesting discussion in the comments.
I’ll begin with the starting lineups, and then move to the rotation, then the five relievers and the final page will have the totals.