50 games down and 10 to go! That’s about where most Major League Baseball teams are sitting.
The Atlanta Braves are currently in first place in the NL East with a record of 29-21. They are 3 games up on the second-place Phillies and 6 games ahead of the New York Mets.
Atlanta has been absolutely blistering the baseball in 2020. I wish this was a full 162 game regular season because they would be putting up some record numbers.
Power at the plate and scoring runs has not been a problem for the Atlanta Braves this year. Early on, it was their bullpen that kept blowing it.
Then, the Braves had some starting pitching go down and amidst the search for a replacement starter, they went through a couple of duds and lost badly.
Their bullpen has been fantastic lately, though, and they are getting their #1 starter back from the 10-day injured list.
It was only back spasms for Max Fried who is 6-0 this year in 9 starts with an ERA of 1.98. The man hasn’t even allowed a home run against nearly 200 batters faced in 2020. Young Ian Anderson looks good at 3-0 now but the rest of the starting rotation is in shambles.
The New York Mets are also bringing back a pitcher from the injured list for this matchup. Steven Matz returns as a starter and hopes to improve on his season-long ERA of 8.63 over 5 starts.
The Braves have struggled on the road this year even though there are virtually no fans in attendance. The Mets have a 10-13 record at home. That is worse than Atlanta’s road record.
Let’s look at the betting odds for the Braves vs the Mets and make our prediction on the winner.
Atlanta Braves vs New York Mets
Usually, I don’t like to chase favorites in baseball but the MLB sportsbooks left out the run line* for a reason here. I don’t think they want people getting near even odds on the Atlanta Braves.
They are coming off of a day of rest and the best pitcher in the National League so far in 2020 is taking the mound for them.
Couple that with the New York Mets returning a starter who hasn’t had the best year and you have a potential bet on the Braves.
Freddie Freeman is swinging a hotter bat than he has all year raising his batting average up to .352 which is good enough for first in the National League.
Freddie and the man batting behind him, Marcell Ozuna, rank 1 and 2 in the NL in runs batted in.
The team has the best hitting in the NL. That is more or less a fact.
If they were coming off of a long road trip with no days of rest, I might fade Atlanta here.
Fried will probably be limited on his pitch count because he is just coming back from spasms and he is set to make his game 1 of the playoffs start in just 12 days.
So, there is a chance the Mets could get the Braves bullpen late and spoil our party.
I don’t think it’s a huge chance, though.
The Braves’ bullpen has been great lately.
This isn’t a lock but I feel pretty good about the circumstances of both teams heading into this matchup.
*at the time of writing.
The Atlanta Braves are getting ready for the 2020 playoffs while the New York Mets are getting ready to hang up their cleats and gloves until next time.
New York played hard this season but with only 60 games to make your statement, any prolonged losing streak is enough to push you out of the playoff race.
The Atlanta Braves are playing like Truist Park is Mile High Stadium.
I thought the humidity was high down there near sea level in Hotlanta. Well, it is, but that hasn’t slowed down the Braves’ bats whatsoever.
How do you have two players who hit 3rd and 4th in the lineup ranking 1st and 2nd in RBI’s? Killing it.
Max Fried has been the savior of the Braves’ starting rotation of pitchers.
They lost Mike Soroka to a devastating Achilles injury earlier this season and it has been a struggle trying to nail down and gain confidence in the rotation by playoff time in a couple of weeks.
Bet now or forever hold your peace.