What’s wrong with the Atlanta Braves — and can they fix it?

  • Sports reporter, Kansas City Star, 2002-09
  • Writer, Baseball, Baseball Prospectus
  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus
  • Member, Baseball Writers Association of America
  • Member, Professional Basketball Writers Association

  • Covers MLB for ESPN.com
  • Former deputy editor of Page 2
  • Been with ESPN.com since 1995

Fresh off of an NLCS appearance and loaded with young talent, the Atlanta Braves entered 2021 as heavy favorites to win the NL East and a trendy World Series pick. Things haven’t exactly worked out that way so far.

Entering Sunday’s matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), Atlanta is just 32-35 and 5.5 games behind the division-leading New York Mets.

We asked ESPN MLB baseball experts Bradford Doolittle and David Schoenfield to weigh in on everything from the root of Atlanta’s struggles and what the Braves should do at the trade deadline to how much this impacts Ronald Acuña Jr.’s NL MVP chances.

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