The New York Mets started the month of June with a win over the Phillies, but in their three games since then, they have yet to record a win. After getting swept by the Blue Jays at home, the Mets are back on the road to take on the first-place Atlanta Braves. We’ll preview the first game of the series before going over my best prop play for the action.
Atlanta losing a series to the Oakland A’s was not something I had on my MLB bingo card to start the season. Still, after a weird and challenging series in Oakland, the Braves responded by winning their series over the Diamondbacks. In their 8-5 win over Arizona, before getting an off day yesterday, the Braves offense put together a four-run ninth inning to erase a 5-4 deficit, which helped them avoid a tough plane ride back to Atlanta.
Taking the ball for the Braves tonight to start this series will be right-hander Bryce Elder. If anyone told me they thought Elder would lead the Atlanta starting pitching staff in ERA, I would assume they were a time traveler, yet here we are in June, and Elder has a 1.92 ERA across 65.7 innings. Elder recorded his longest start of the season his last time out as he went 7 ⅓ innings with five strikeouts and one earned run allowed in a no-decision.
The Braves right-hander is set to face a Mets lineup that scored five runs in their three-game series against the Blue Jays. In Sunday’s 6-4 loss, the Mets recorded seven hits, and four of them left the yard, as Tommy Pham hit two while Pete Alonso recorded his 21st of the year. Even with the home runs, New York struggled offensively in terms of strikeouts, tallying 11 for the game.
It’ll be veteran right-hander Carlos Carrasco getting the start for the Mets tonight. Across his six starts and 31.3 innings, Carrasco has pitched to a 5.74 ERA with 19 punchouts and 13 walks. The overall numbers may not look great, but the right-hander has turned in two straight strong starts, with his most recent being a six-inning win over the Phillies in which he allowed one earned run with four strikeouts.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Matt Olson over 1.5 total bases, which is priced at (-110). The power-hitting first baseman averages 1.93 per game this season and has hit Carlos Carrasco hard in his career. In 12 at-bats, Olson has recorded five hits off the Mets' starter, and four have gone for extra bases, including two home runs.
According to statcast, Olson has an expected batting average of .468 and an expected wOBA of .695 against Carrasco. Not only is he projected to do damage tonight, but the first baseman has shown consistent production against right-handed pitching at home all season. Olson has a 160 wRC+ to go along with an OPS of .986 against righties at home.
Olson has had success against Carrasco in the past, but with the Mets starter’s current numbers, I don’t see why it won’t continue. The right-hander is in the 37th percentile in barrel percentage, 28th percentile in expected batting average, and 17th percentile in expected slugging percentage. Additionally, Carrasco’s expected FIP facing left-handed hitters on the road is up to 4.92.
Matt Olson Over 1.5 Total Bases (-110)