Atlanta Braves Big Bear on Record-Setting Rampage

Atlanta Braves are on a roller coaster to start the 2024 season. Multiple games were delayed, and losing catcher Sean Murphy in the first game of the season, then Spencer Strider to his second Tommy John surgery at just 25 years old, is not how they wanted to open the year. But some magic is also happening in Truist Park: surprise outputs from players like Jarred Kelenic hitting plus .400, Acuna racking up seven steals, Albies and Harris blasting out of the gate. But the most astonishing is the ole Big Bear, Marcell Ozuna.

Big Bear is on a Record-Setting Pace


Braves beat Marlins to lead NL East thanks to Ozuna

First, let’s talk about The Braves-Marlins game on Sunday; it was a roller-coaster ride of emotions for both teams. The Miami Marlins were on the brink of victory, leading the Braves 7-6 in the ninth, with only one out remaining and an 0-2 count on the former Marlin, Ozuna. The atmospheric pressure was palpable as Miami’s Tanner Scott was entrusted with saving the game despite his shaky start to the season.

The tension reached a fever pitch when Ozuna, known affectionately as ‘Big Bear’, stepped up to the plate. Despite the nerve-wracking situation, the Braves fans held an unwavering faith in Ozuna, who was already having an exceptional season, batting .373 with seven homers1. Defying all odds, Ozuna landed a booming home run, flipping the game on its head and swinging the momentum back in the Braves’ favor. This three-run homer saved the day for the Braves and served as a testament to Ozuna’s ridiculous start to the season. 

Ozuna attributes his success to a clear mindset and a forget-the-past attitude. Ozuna believes he can elevate his performance by leaving behind past failures and focusing on the present. He comes daily with a fresh perspective, trying to build on yesterday’s success, and it’s that willingness to seize the opportunity.

Ozuna a Darkhorse for MVP

Ozuna is currently batting at an impressive .373 on the young season, with a 1.193 OPS through Sunday. Then there are the dingers, seven of them. Enough to lead the league despite the Braves only playing 14 games. That puts him on pace for an astounding 81 HR for the season, and his 21 RBIs have him tracking for 243 on the year. Ole Big Bear isn’t stopping there; he is also riding a 13-game hit streak and has been a vital asset to the Brave’s NL East-leading record. 

His Power is reminiscent of his production last year. Remember, in 2023, Ozuna started slow but hit 43 home runs from May onwards. His 2024 performance so far suggests something monumental. He is currently +16000 on DraftKings to win the NL MVP, behind Jake Cronenworth and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, but is looking like a runaway for the award.

In all reality, the Braves series with the Astros will provide a higher level of composition than the Mets and Marlins, and ole Big Bear will come back down to earth, but don’t sleep on him. There is a good shot in the Brave’s next 14 games to end the month. I’d expect another four HRs and 10 RBIs from Ozuna, giving him a great shot at 50+ long balls by the season’s end. But for now, let’s ride the excitement of his hitting streak and just enjoy the show.

Main Image:  Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

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