The Atlanta Braves are in after clinching the NL East over the weekend. The Philadelphia Phillies are no longer in their rear-view mirror and they can coast to the finish line. However, don’t tell them that the rest of the regular season is meaningless. They are still competing for homefield in the National League. All of the current postseason teams have near identical records, with the Cubs leading the way.
The Braves, Dodgers, Rockies, Brewers, and Cardinals are all within two games of one another. So, this next week will determine who is going to be playing in October and homefield advantage for the initial rounds and later in the postseason. The main thing for the Braves, a team already in, is to stay healthy and stay focused.
The National League is wide open and the Braves are going to be in the fold. While the Dodgers haven’t even locked anything in yet in the NL West, they seem to be the popular pick in the National League. On paper they certainly look like the front runners, but let’s wait to see what happens with them and the Rockies first.
They have a challenge against Jacob deGrom tonight. He is gunning for a Cy Young, but there isn’t much else for the Mets to celebrate. David Wright is having a farewell tour, though Mickey Callaway said he wouldn’t play against the Braves in this series. Look for him against the Marlins in the season finale. deGrom got a rare win in his last outing, as the Mets won a 4-2 decision. It was only his ninth win of the year. He currently has a record of 9-9, worse than last season when he had a record of 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA. So, yeah, the run support was much better for him a season ago. Sean Newcomb is looking for a bounce back effort after the Nationals roughed him up. Head below for our free Braves vs. Mets pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. N.Y. Mets Pick
Sean Newcomb (12-9, 4.04 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (9-9, 1.77 ERA)
Sean Newcomb is going to be counted on to come up big in the postseason, so they want to see him put that last start in the past. The Nationals got to Newcomb for 6 hits and 5 runs, which included 2 home runs allowed. He’s been better on the road, though, with an ERA of 3.00 compared to a 5.12 ERA at home. In his last three starts on the road, Newcomb has given up just 2 runs and 10 hits across 18 innings on the mound.
Conversely, he’s allowed 14 runs in his last three appearances at home, so maybe the Braves would be wise to use him appropriately in the postseason. He has been stellar against the Mets, holding them to a .197 batting average with no long balls in 97 at-bats.
There is apparently a battle between deGrom and Scherzer for the Cy Young. If I had a vote, it wouldn’t even be debateable it would go to deGrom. So, deGrom doesn’t have the wins, well the Nationals aren’t going to the postseason either. Voters are looking for any reason not to give deGrom a vote, though.
They really don’t want a guy with a .500 record winning the award, so he hasn’t had much room for error in the last month, despite producing terrific numbers. deGrom has posted an ERA of 1.62 with a 0.84 WHIP in his previous seven starts. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since April 10th, a record for the most starts without allowing more than 3 runs. I’d look towards the UNDER in this ball game.