The New York Mets are headed to Truist Park to play the first of three games against the Atlanta Braves on Monday. New York comes into the series 18-16 and in first in the National League East. Atlanta is in third place at 19-21 and two games back of New York. But the Mets are in a bit of a slump, having lost three straight following a seven-game winning streak. The Braves have yet to really play to their potential and have split their last 10.
Game one is looking like a pitching duel between Taijuan Walker of the Mets and Max Fried of the Braves. Walker is 3-1 with a solid 2.20 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Fried is 1-1 with a disappointing 6.55 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. It is noteworthy that the Mets are 7-12 on the road and the Braves are 9-11 at home.
The MLB Sportsbook has the betting odds for this series up, with the Braves favorites at -155 and the Mets +125.
Atlanta pitching trending in right direction
After taking two of three from the Brewers in Milwaukee, the Braves are looking to turn things around, but they are not there yet. They are still just 5-5 in their last 10 games, being outscored by six runs, hitting .215 as a team and sporting a 4.79 ERA as a staff. These NL East matchups are the games they need to win to get atop the division and secure a spot in October.
Atlanta will look to their ace Fried in game one. Despite a tough start, Fried has been good as of late, only giving up two runs total in his last two starts. In his last start against Toronto, he only allowed two hits in six innings of work. The Braves’ game two starter will be Charlie Morton, who has a 2-2 and a 5.08 ERA. Morton started out the season looking solid but has been shelled in his last few outings. On May 7, at home against Philadelphia, he gave up six runs and didn’t last an inning. His last outing, he didn’t make the fifth inning and gave up three runs on seven hits. Hopefully he can find it against an unreliable Mets offense.
The Braves game three starter will be Drew Smyly, who is 2-2 and has a 5.23 ERA. Like Fried, Smyly had a rocky start to the season but seems to have found something in his last start, where he went six innings and only gave up one run against the Brewers.
The Braves’ pitching staff as a whole has struggled with a team ERA of 4.50. The staff should improve over the long season but they need their bats to support them. Atlanta leads the majors with 59 home runs.
Mets missing New York
The Mets are in the middle of a tough road stint – coming off being swept over the weekend at Tampa Bay by the Rays. But they remain at the top of their division and have a lot to work with to steal a couple of games in Atlanta.
New York will start Taijuan Walker in game one. He could put a stop to the Braves bats. Opposing hitters are batting just .170 and slugging only .227 off him. In his last outing, Walker looked great, giving up just four hits and three walks against the Orioles. The Mets starter for game two has not been announced but it won’t be Jacob deGrom. The right-hander is still out with a minor injury. Mets manager Luis Rojas told the media he was unsure if deGrom would return when he’s eligible May 20. Rojas is currently just keeping things loose and working toward throwing a bullpen session.
Game three will be David Peterson for the Mets. Despite his 1-3 record and 4.86 ERA, he has been good lately. On Friday, he went seven-plus innings and only gave up two runs but the New York bats didn’t support him and he did not factor in the decision in the loss to the Rays. The Mets need the rest of their starting rotation to shine in deGrom’s absence.
Folks looking to bet the Mets might point to the fact that they are 9-5 against NL East teams. But they are facing injury concerns beyond just deGrom. Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto left Sunday’s game against the Rays. They will be evaluated this week and likely won’t play in this series. Missing those two bats, the Mets will have to rely on hitters like Pete Alonso, who leads the team with 13 extra-base hits, to carry the offense in Atlanta.
Braves bats at home
The New York Mets will be looking to increase their division lead in these NL East battles but have their work cut out for them. With Atlanta ace Fried taking the mound at home in game one, look for the Braves to take an early series lead. The moneyline in the MLB Sportsbook for game one has the Braves -147 and the Mets +132. Despite some unreliable starting pitching for the home team, the bats have been strong enough to take Atlanta in the series as well. The MLB Sportsbook has the Braves a healthy -145 and the Mets as at +115.