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Surprise! Fan confidence in the Braves dips after lackluster start to August

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MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Braves fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

With about six weeks remaining in the regular season, the Atlanta Braves hold a 4.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East standings. However, they have gone 8-7 in August and have seen their bullpen struggles worsen in recent days despite three significant additions at the trade deadline.

The bullpen struggles are just one of the team’s problem as the injuries have also started to pile up particularly among their outfielders. Nick Markakis remains out with a fractured wrist and the best case scenario is that he will be able to return sometime in September. Austin Riley is on the shelf with a knee injury and Ender Inciarte’s status is uncertain after a hamstring injury on Friday night.

So, given that back drop, this week’s FanPulse voting results shows confidence in the direction of the Braves falling. After 10 straight weeks at being above 90%, confidence this week drops seven percent to 85%.

Additionally, Brian Snitker’s approval rating dropped to 80% this week which is the lowest it has been in the last 13 weeks. I can’t say I am terribly surprised by the results overall. Reactions on social media and other places tend to swing widely from game to game depending on the result, especially now that we are in the stretch run of the season. I will say though, if you were confident in this team at the trade deadline and you approved of the reliever additions, then I question you changing your mind now.

This week’s National FanPulse question centered on the baseball. Offensive numbers are up again this season with home runs flying out of parks at a historical rate. Major League Baseball has acknowledged that baseballs are flying further this season but have maintained that they didn’t commission any changes to the ball itself. However, 68% of our voters think the MLB intentionally juiced the ball this season.

That is it for this week. Let us know what you think of the results in the comment section below. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played and it isn’t too late to sign up and be a part of the FanPulse vote. Just go to this link to get signed up and you can be a part of next week’s voting.