Mets vs Braves Series Preview: National League East Battle in Atlanta

Streaking Braves Aim to Take Over Top Spot in Division

The Atlanta Braves finished the month of May with a loss at Arizona that dropped them 10.5 games behind the New York Mets in the MLB National League East. They will enter the first of three matchups against the Mets on Monday trailing by just 1.5 games. The division rivals will be playing for the first time in over two months, and we have all you need to get ready for the big series in our Mets vs Braves series preview.

Opening Game Information

  • Game: Mets (53-33) at Braves (52-35)
  • Location: Truist Park
  • Day/Time:
  • Television: SNY, BSSO, FS1

Mets vs Braves Probable Starting Pitchers

  • Monday: Max Scherzer (Mets) vs. Max Fried (Braves)
  • Tuesday: David Peterson (Mets) vs Spencer Strider (Braves)
  • Wednesday: Chris Bassitt (Mets) vs Charlie Morton (Braves)

Scherzer Starts Series for Mets

New York recently had a rotation shuffle brought on by the COVID situation regarding Chris Bassitt. The one positive in the realignment was that it pushed Max Scherzer into Monday’s start, giving him a shot at the hard-charging Braves.

Scherzer was superb in his return from an oblique injury last Tuesday at Pittsburgh, striking out 11 and yielding two hits in six scoreless innings. He sports a 2.10 ERA in five road starts and also had six scoreless in his most recent regular-season matchup with the Braves in September.

The future Hall of Famer figures to give the Mets a solid opening note in a spot they could really use one. New York is 9-10 since June 21 after falling 2-0 to the Miami Marlins at home Sunday afternoon. The team was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and allowed the go-ahead run to score in the 10th on an error.

There’s a building sense of urgency with the Braves hot on their heels.

“Atlanta, whether it’s the first day of the year or tomorrow, it’s gonna be a challenge,” Francisco Lindor, who struck out with runners on the corners to end the loss, told reporters. “They’re the World Series champs. … Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who’s on the other side. We have to go out and give our best.”

New York still has the third-best odds to win World Series, but sinking below the 2021 champs to begin the week could alter that dramatically.

Braves Dominant on Homestand

Atlanta is 6-1 on its current 10-game homestand following a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend. They’ve outscored opponents 38-15 in their stay at Truist Park and have yet to allow more than three runs in any of the games.

Just 10 months removed from a World Series crown that came after a slow start to the 2021 season; this is a team that knows how to pace itself and it’s hitting a pretty nice stride right now.

“I’ve said from the beginning that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” third baseman Austin Riley said. “Early on things weren’t going our way. Now we’re playing the ball we want to and right where we want to be. If we continue to do that, I like our chances.”

Riley walked off the Nationals with a 12th-inning RBI single on Sunday. That gave the Braves 30 home wins, which trails only the New York Yankees. And they have a pretty good Max of their own to start this one off, as player Max Fried looks to improve to 10-2 in Monday’s opener.

Fried is a guy who can go toe-to-toe with Scherzer, and he’ll be followed up by Spencer Strider and Charlie Morton, giving Atlanta a definitive edge on the mound in this series. Strider has allowed one run while striking out 30 in 18 innings over his last three starts, while Morton has a 1.60 ERA over his last five outings.

An interesting storyline to this set involves the Braves’ acquisition of Robinson Cano, the former Mets’ second baseman, in an exchange with the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Cano likely won’t impact Atlanta Braves betting odds anytime soon, but him getting a significant at-bat in this series would create some drama.

Who’s Hot

  • Luis Guillorme, Mets 2B: 6-for-14 with two walks over his last five games.
  • Edwin Diaz, Mets RP: Nine straight scoreless appearances and earned his second career All-Star nod Sunday.
  • Riley: 22-for-45 (.489) with five homers since June 30.
  • Dansby Swanson, Braves SS: Batting .370 in July.

Who’s Not

  • Jeff McNeil, Mets IF/OF: 8-for-38 (.211) since returning from a hamstring injury.
  • Brandon Nimmo, Mets CF: 0-for-9 in two games over the weekend.
  • Eddie Rosario, Braves OF: Batting .217 with zero walks in seven games since return from eye surgery.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves RF: 8-for-38 (.211) over his last nine games.

Injury Updates

  • Mets C James McCann was placed on the 10-day IL on Sunday due to a strained oblique injury.
  • Mets RF Starling Marte missed Sunday’s loss and is day-to-day with a groin injury.
  • Mets OF Travis Jankowski is expected to be activated Monday after missing several weeks following a hand injury.
  • Braves OF Adam Duvall was placed on the paternity list prior to the Washington series but is expected back Monday.
  • Braves RP Kenley Jansen is expected to return Tuesday after a stint on the IL due to an irregular heartbeat.

Mets vs Braves Series Preview Betting Tips

The Braves are the defending champs. They are on fire. They are at home. They are the healthier team, and they have the edge on the mound in the series, despite Scherzer getting bumped into the fray.

There’s little reason to expect that Atlanta won’t take the set, and perhaps sweep it. Consider some insight in this Mets vs Braves series preview, keep an eye on injury updates involving Marte, Jansen, and others, and contemplate the under when glancing at the odds as this may play out with the tightness and intensity of a playoff series.

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