How The 2023 Atlanta Braves Stack Up Against The Best Teams In Baseball History

The entrance to Truist Park with a large sign stating "Atlanta Braves" over the gatePhoto: Larry Felton Johnson/Cobb County Courier

By John A. Tures. Professor of Political Science, LaGrange College

Are the 2023 Terrors of Truist Park one of the greatest baseball teams of all time? Who would be their competitors for the title? And what might it take to be the best?

On August 2, I took my youngest son to the daytime Atlanta Braves game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Bravos pounded the Angels with a 12-5 win, with Ronald Acuna, Austin Riley and Matt Olson going deep against new Angels acquisition Lucas Giolito. Ozzie Albies added a pair of extra base hits while Michael Harris II scored three runs and Orlando Arcia added two more, helping the team extend their MLB best record.

That evening my wife and I were watching an Avengers movie. In the film, Captain America refers to his team as “the 1927 New York Yankees.” As the Braves chase the record for the most team home runs in history, it made me wonder about the best teams of all time, and whether or not the Braves, the “Avengers of Atlanta” could possibly compete with them.

Currently, as MLB statistics reveal, through 109 games, the Braves lead the American and National League in team OPS, at .840. They lead the league in extra-base hits, going into the Angels game (and tacked on several more). They lead the National League in scoring runs, and runs batted in. And while teams like the Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Bay Rays steal more bases, the Braves are caught less than half the time than both are. Not only do they lead the league in slugging, but have one of the lowest strikeout rates in MLB. And with eight All-Stars, the Braves are looking to break the Major League Baseball record for team home runs in a season.

As Ben Verlander of Fox Sports concludes, the Braves are likely the best Braves team of all time. “Pitching-wise, the Braves have Max Fried returning Friday from a left forearm strain that has kept him out for the past three months. Kyle Wright should eventually come back before the end of the season. Oh, by the way, Fried was the 2022 N.L. Cy Young runner-up and Wright led all of MLB in wins last year. Yet despite those injuries, the Braves still have three starting pitchers currently in the top 12 on the qualified ERA leaderboard — Strider, Bryce Elder and Charlie Morton — the only rotation in baseball to do so. That pitching staff leads all of baseball with a 119 ERA+, meaning they are a whopping 19% better than league-average as a staff.” That Braves list includes some World Series winners and some 100+ game winners too.

Even with the big pitching injuries, the Braves rank ninth in pitching, among the leaders in strikeouts, saves, and fewest hits surrendered, according to MLB stats. has them in second place in defensive statistics in the National League. They really are the “Winners of Windy Ridge.”

Have any teams performed better? Earlier, I mentioned the 1927 New York Yankees. The site “Sportsnaut” lists them as one of the greatest, along with several other classic baseball clubs. The “Murderer’s Row” team had an OPS of .872, a .307 batting average, a whopping 110-44 record, and a World Series sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and six Hall-of-Famers (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Tony Lazzeri, Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock). Among the other best teams of the modern era include the 1970 Baltimore Orioles, 1975 Cincinnati Reds, and 1998 New York Yankees. All of them won titles too, making them among the best in history.

Several teams could have been among these classics. These include the 1906 Chicago Cubs, the 1931 Philadelphia A’s, the 1954 Cleveland Indians, and 2001 Seattle Mariners. But these teams often don’t make the list of the best, because they fell short of a World Series title. It will be same with the 2023 Atlanta Braves too. Though they are among the best in baseball this year, in hitting, fielding and pitching this year, the title will make the Braves truly among the best in baseball history, the Champions from Cobb County.

John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. His views are his own. He can be reached at His Twitter account is JohnTures2.