Four-Time Defending NL East Champion Braves Face First-Place Mets
The New York Mets can take a major step towards winning the MLB National League East title for the first time since 2015 by at least splitting a four-game series with the host Atlanta Braves. Here’s a look at the Mets vs Braves series preview.
The Mets currently lead by 5½ games over the Atlanta Braves standings so it will be worth seeing how things stand when this four-game series comes to an end, especially with the teams set to play just three more times during the remainder of the regular season.
The Mets and Braves odds rank third and fourth in the majors in OPS during the month of August. Only the Dodgers have a better batting average in the month of August than the Mets’ mark of .285. The Braves rank third with 19 home runs during the month.
The Mets are 11-3 in August and the Braves 8-5 so both teams are heating up for the postseason. The Braves have won six games in a row, the longest active streak in the majors. With Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom set to pitch for the Mets in the first two games of the series, the Braves would be wise to jump out early in the first two matchups. Having two former Cy Young winners waiting to throw certainly figures into the Mets vs Braves series preview.
Mets vs Braves Game Information
- Matchup: Mets 75-40 (first in the NL East) Braves 70-46 (second in the NL East)
- Location: Truist Park, Atlanta
- Date/Time: Monday, 7:20 p.m. ET (teams also play at 7:20 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
Mets vs Braves Probable Pitching Matchups
- Monday: Carlos Carrasco (Mets) Spencer Strider (Braves)
- Tuesday: Taijuan Walker (Mets) Charlie Morton (Braves)
- Wednesday: Max Scherzer (Mets) Jake Odorizzi (Braves)
- Thursday: Jacob deGrom (Mets) Kyle Wright (Braves)
McNeil Shaking off a Tough July
There were plenty of questions with the New York Mets coming into the season and one of them had to do with second baseman player, Jeff McNeil. Would he return to the form he displayed earlier in his career when he hit over .300 in each of his first three seasons or was last season’s career-low .249 batting average a sign of things to come? When McNeil hit just .208 with five extra-base hits in the month of July, it was only natural to wonder if he was about to see things head in the opposite direction after he hit better than .300 in every other month.
McNeil has certainly answered the naysayers as he is hitting .391 with five doubles, two home runs, eight runs, and nine RBIs in August heading into this season. Only two other National League hitters with at least 35 at-bats in August have better batting averages in August than McNeil. His recent hot streak is a key part of the Mets vs Braves series preview.
McNeil is hitting .281 against the Braves this season with two of his nine hits going for extra bases. The Braves were one of the three teams that he had more than 10 hits against during the 2021 season.
Strider Set to Face “Lucky” Mets Once Again
The series opener has a built-in storyline thanks to the postgame comments of Atlanta rookie pitcher Spencer Strider following his most recent start.
Strider didn’t get out of the third inning as he allowed six hits and four runs as he took the loss on August 7.
“They seem to be having a lot of luck right now offensively. It’s August. [We’ll] see what things are like in October.”
One could only wonder what the reaction would be if this series was being played in New York.
Strider has not been immune to rough outings.
When Strider is coming off an outing when he allowed three runs or more, Strider has an 0.91 ERA with 10 hits allowed and 23 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.
He is one of the rookies who have helped the Braves move into playoff position and this is going to be a key start for him.
- Jacob deGrom, Mets P: In his last outing, deGrom allowed two hits, no runs, and struck out 10 in six innings of work.
- Michael Harris, Braves OF: Harris is hitting .364 with six extra-base hits, seven runs, and five RBIs over his last six games.
- Jeff McNeil, Mets IF: McNeil has hits in 15 of the last 16 games with the lone exception being when he had just one at-bat in a loss to Phillies on Friday.
- A.J. Minter, Braves P: Minter hasn’t allowed a hit or a run in his last six appearances. He has 10 strikeouts and one walk over 5.1 innings in those outings.
- Brandon Nimmo, Mets OF: Nimmo has one hit in his last 17 at-bats. The good news is that hit was a double in Sunday’s win over the Phillies.
- Jake Odorizzi, Braves P: Odorizzi has a 4.16 ERA in his two starts since being acquired by the Braves.
- Austin Riley, Braves 3B: Riley has one hit in 10 at-bats over his last three games. He has failed to record a hit in back-to-back games for the first time since June 22-24.
- Taijuan Walker, New York Mets P: Walker is 1-1 with a 12.86 earned run average in his two starts in August.
Mets vs Braves Injury Update
Infielder Luis Guillorme (groin) is questionable for the Mets. Reliever Drew Smith (lat sprain) is not expected back until late August. When looking at the MLB injuries, most of the other ones impacting the Mets are long-term ones.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud is probable for Monday’s series opener for the Braves. Reliever Darren Day (calf) could return in late August.
Mets vs Braves Betting Analysis
Both of the teams are in good shape to reach the playoffs so there are no must-win scenarios; however, if the Braves want to win the NL East for the fifth year in a row, taking at least three out of four in this series would be a step in the right direction.
The Mets have won eight of the last 12 games against the Braves this season and that includes taking four games in a recently concluded five-game series in New York. The Mets have won two of three games played in Atlanta this season.
It has been quite the turnaround after the Braves took seven of the last 10 meetings with the Mets a season ago. Although only one of the games between the teams this year was a one-run affair, nine of them have been decided by three runs or less. The total has gone over in five of the last six games between the teams.
The Mets are just 12-14 when playing as an underdog while the Braves are 60-27 as a favorite.
The series price recently moved and is now at -115 for each team.Follow us on Twitter