After winning yet another series this weekend, the Atlanta Braves will finish up their home stand with a three-game series against the New York Mets. The two NL East teams matched up a little over a week ago, and the Braves took three out of four games in New York. As the sides run it back tonight in Atlanta, we’ll preview the series’ opening game before going over which side I’ll be backing.
While the Mets' last remaining hopes of making the playoffs disappeared at the trade deadline, they will enter tonight off back-to-back series wins. Over the weekend, New York was able to go into St. Louis and take three out of four from the Cardinals.
The Mets’ lone loss in the series came yesterday in a 7-3 game that saw the Cardinals pick up 15 hits off the Mets' pitching staff. A solo home run by Pete Alonso and RBI singles by Jonathan Arauz and Francisco Alvarez would be the team’s only offense for the game.
With yesterday’s loss behind them, the Mets will look to David Peterson to start tonight’s series opener. The lefty has made three consecutive starts entering tonight, and none were longer than 3.2 innings. While he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in those outings, Peterson did walk six hitters in his most recent start against the Pirates, which gives him 11 walks in his last 10.3 innings.
Now Peterson takes on the toughest matchup for a pitcher in baseball this season, the Atlanta Braves offense. In the most recent series these two teams played against each other, the Braves scored six or more runs in all four games, and they are fresh off a series in which they scored 13 runs in three games. Atlanta had the opportunity to sweep the Giants yesterday but ended up falling 4-3, as an Orlando Arcia two-run home run would end up being the team’s only offensive highlight.
Getting the ball tonight for Atlanta will be young right-hander Allan Winans, whose last start came against the Mets. On August 12th, Winans dazzled in his second career start, holding the Mets scoreless for seven innings while racking up nine strikeouts. The former 17th-round pick has allowed just two earned runs in 11.3 career innings.
The Atlanta Braves run-line of (-1.5) is currently priced at (-110), and I’ll be backing them for my play. Atlanta’s offense has been a juggernaut this season, but especially at home, and tonight, they get a starter with awful expected numbers. If he makes an early exit again tonight, the Braves' offense also gets to face a Mets bullpen that has the 3rd highest FIP in the league over the last month.
No matter which way you look at it, the Braves offense has an advantage tonight. Since July 21st, the team ranks 1st in OPS, wOBA, SLG, and wRC+ when playing in their home ballpark. Meanwhile, David Peterson is in the 31st percentile in xSLG, 18th percentile in xBA, and 17th percentile in xERA/xwOBA. In the one outing the lefty had against Atlanta earlier in the season, he allowed four earned runs in five innings.
Allan Winans’ lone outing against New York this season was nearly flawless, and although it is hard to project his numbers moving forward, he has flashed a lot of potential. With his changeup and slider having whiff percentages of 31.3% or higher, the righty remains a bad matchup for a Mets team that ranks 18th in wRC+ and 17th in OPS against right-handed pitching at home over the past month.
Atlanta Braves (-1.5)(-110)