The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets got into a drama filled matchup Friday night at Citi Field. If you wanted a game that resembled a postseason game, the Braves and Mets were the closest thing you could get last night to that. Jacob deGrom was fantastic, with his arm and bat. The defending Cy Young winner went off on the mound and at the plate. He recorded 13 strikeouts while 1 earned run in 7 innings.
DeGrom also went deep for a solo home run for the only offensive output from the Mets before going to extra innings. He had to rake last season to get any run support, and that game felt a lot like 2018 for deGrom. The Mets were not fighting for a postseason spot last season, so things are a little different overall, though. DeGrom may not be setting up for another Cy Young, but at least there are others contributing in 2019 for the Mets.
The Braves are in a much safer zone right now as we inch closer to the final month of the regular season. They have the NL East under control with a comfortable lead over the Nationals. The Nats have been streaking, though, and could steal the NL East if the Braves go cold in September. I have the Nationals as a sleeper team in the National League, so I’m not going to forget about them.
Along with deGrom having a standout performance last night, Ronald Acuna Jr. became the second-youngest player to join the 30-30 club. At only 21 years old, Acuna. Jr has been something special for the Braves and is a catalyst for their run this season.
Somebody call the Brinks truck, because Acuna is going to need one soon. Max Fried and Zack Wheeler are expected to toe the rubber for their respective clubs this evening at Citi Field. Fried enters with some momentum, while Wheeler is coming off some okay outings. Head below for our free Braves vs. Mets pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. N.Y. Mets Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Zack Wheeler was coming off his best season as a major league pitcher in 2018. He was sharp with a 3.31 ERA and garnered the attention of teams at the trade deadline this season. According to the media, it was a lock that Wheeler was on the way out and going to be on another club. Not only did Wheeler stay, but the Mets acquired Marcus Stroman. Wheeler has regressed in 2019. However, he is still putting up respectable numbers. He will go into Saturday with an ERA of 4.40, which is about as average as you will find in the majors.
There are several hitters on the Braves’ roster that have gone to work against Wheeler and found success. In 174 at-bats, which is a nice sample size, the Braves are hitting .328 with a .405 OBP against Wheeler. They’ve scored 25 runs with 7 long balls against Wheeler in that time. There are a whopping eight players on the active roster for the Braves right now who are hitting greater than .400 against Wheeler in their careers.
Fried is hoping to keep the Mets off balance tonight, which has been the case for him most of this month. He’s posted a 2.01 ERA in four starts this month and a 2.20 ERA in his previous three outings. Fried hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since July 27th against the Phillies. He’s also been adequate against the Mets in his career, holding them to .275 and no home runs in 102 at-bats. Given this affordable price on the Braves against Wheeler, the visitors look like the play at Citi Field here.