Can Austin Riley’s scorching bat catch Andruw Jones’ home run pace?

Austin Riley, along with bash brother teammate Matt Olson, is on pace to overtake Andruw Jones in the Atlanta Braves record books.

What Austin Riley has done at the plate for the Atlanta Braves since the All-Star break is absolutely mind-boggling.

Riley hit his 10th home run since the Midsummer Classic in Atlanta’s 8-0 shutout victory over the Chicago Cubs. It was the All-Star third baseman’s 26th big fly of the season, putting him second on the team only to first baseman Matt Olson, who has 37. For those keeping score, Andruw Jones set the franchise record with 51 goals in a single season in 2005.

With Olson essentially a lock to hit more than a half-dozen moonshots this season, what are the chances Riley will join him and Jones in The ATL for the 50-burger bash this year?

Riley has hit 86 home runs in the second half since the All-Star Game, I kid you not!

Will Austin Riley pass Andruw Jones for the most home runs in franchise history?

Riley needs to connect on 25 more baseballs and send them into the bleachers to match Jones’ 2005 milestone of 51 home runs. Because Riley, Olson, second baseman Ozzie Albies, and right fielder Ronald Acua Jr. play every day, either of the Atlanta bash brothers will need to play 55 more games to reach 51. Olson needs 14 more points to tie it.

Riley will need to hit a home run almost every other game the rest of the way to get there. And Olson requires him to park one in the bleachers every three or four games. Riley’s second-half home-run rate, in other words, is not sustainable. He should break 40 if he continues to swing the bat properly. Olson, on the other hand, could be the new record-holder.

What gets overlooked in all of this is that Atlanta has multiple NL MVP hopefuls in the same starting lineup. Why do you think manager Brian Snitker uses the same four players every day? We are witnessing one of the best single-season offenses in history. The best thing is that the Braves’ current season will only add to the history of Jones’ best season.

Let’s hope the homers get him into Cooperstown by nearing or breaking Jones’ team record.