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Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Game Preview
Sunday night’s primetime MLB features a pair of longtime NL East rivals, as the New York Mets host the Atlanta Braves. Thanks to a rainout on Friday, this will be the second of a two-game set between the pair. After winning on Saturday night, the Mets -130 favorites on Sunday night while Atlanta’s moneyline is set at +110.
With Saturday’s win, the Mets have now won four in a row, putting them five games over .500. They are currently the only team in the NL East with a winning record, extending their lead atop the division to 3.5 games. They will look to build on that lead before starting a West Coast road trip on Monday.
As for the Braves, they missed out on an opportunity to get to .500 on Saturday. Thanks to back-to-back losses, Atlanta is back to two games under .500 on the season, continuing to fall short of expectations. The Braves are now tied with the Phillies in the NL East, 3.5 games behind the Mets.
Max Fried is set to get the start for Atlanta on Sunday. He struggled in April before going to the IL because of a hamstring injury. However, he’s come back strong in his four starts since returning from the IL, conceding just four runs in 24 innings of work, including six strong innings against the Mets last week.
In fact, Fried has strong numbers against most of New York’s hitters, especially with the Mets sending out a glorified triple-A lineup most nights given their long list of injured players. Prior to Saturday’s unusual 13-run outburst, the Mets had scored just 12 runs in their previous six games. Even the players who have stayed healthy like Francisco Lindor and James McCann, have had disappointing seasons offensively.
Time to deGrominate
The silver lining for the Mets is that Jacob deGrom is set to take the mound on Sunday night. After a brief stint on the IL earlier this month, deGrom allowed one run on three hits over five innings against Colorado earlier this week. Through seven starts, deGrom is 3-2 with a 0.80 ERA, making him the early frontrunner to win his third Cy Young.
Naturally, he has impressive numbers against most of Atlanta’s hitters. While Ronald Acuna has had some success off him, deGrom has mostly limited the damage done by Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and others. However, Austin Riley, who has been Atlanta’s best hitter over the past month, is 2 for 7 with a home run in his brief experience facing deGrom.
Battle of the Aces
This game is difficult to handicap because both teams are sending an excellent starting pitcher to the mound. There’s little doubt that the Mets will get a quality start from deGrom. But Fried has pitched as well as any start in the National League over the past month.
The difference in the game could be the fact that the Mets actually have some confidence offensively after Saturday’s win. The Mets also have the third-best bullpen ERA in the National League, while the Braves rank near the bottom. That could be the difference in a close game, so bet on the Mets to win on Sunday night.
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