The Atlanta Braves ran into Jacob deGrom last night as he collected yet another victim on the mound. In a brilliant performance that kept the Braves off the scoreboard, the Mets secured a 3-0 win and likely a Cy Young for deGrom. That was the only thing for the Mets to play for in the second-half, and if there is any consolation, deGrom will get honored with a Cy Young for the best pitcher in the National League.
He’s the best pitcher in baseball, who would have been a heck of a weapon for a team in the postseason. He will finish the year with an ERA of 1.70 and will now await the CY Young announcement. deGrom also registered his 1,000th strikeout of the season.
Scherzer, the other pitcher who is in Cy Young contention, will have to watch the postseason from home as well. deGrom, along with Zack Wheeler are going to see their salaries rise next season. The Mets are going to be left with a decision. Sign, deal one, or send both packing to other teams.
At this point, I’m not so sure deGrom would hate the idea of going to a team with an offense. And if deGrom and Wheeler are signed, the Mets are going to be squeezed when it comes to signing free agents to make the team better. It’s expected that deGrom will double his 2018 salary in 2019, which they are likely going to pay. I think when it comes to Wheeler it isn’t so clear.
3 runs is all the Mets needed last night. With deGrom on the mound, that’s usually all they need but most of the time it’s been difficult to get there. Jason Vargas is expected to see the bump as the Mets’ starter this evening. After getting mauled in the first-half, Vargas has settled down and been a reasonably effective pitcher in the second-half. He’s not up there with the rest of the rotation, but at least been a serviceable option. Julio Teheran will counter for the Braves on Thursday night. Get our free Braves vs. Mets pick below.
Atlanta Braves vs. N.Y. Mets Pick
Julio Teheran (9-8, 4.03 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (6-9, 6.25 ERA)
The Braves already have the NL East in the bag. They’ve celebrated their accomplishments and are just trying to improve their seeding in the National League now. Homefield may come into play later in the postseason. Nevertheless, the Braves have been able to win at home and on the road. They own a record of 46-31 on the road in 2018.
This team went from a laughing stock of the division to winning it all when no one believed in them back in April. It wasn’t really until the mid-way point of the season that people were beginning to take them seriously. GM Alex Anthopoulos did wonders for the Blue Jays and now in his first-year with the Braves, he’s back with a team who rose from the grave to the postseason.
Teheran has helped aid the Braves this season. He’s been decent with an ERA of 4.03 and has allowed 3 or less runs in eight of his last ten outings. Teheran was on a streak of allowing 2 or less runs in six of seven games before the Phillies got to him for 4 runs in his last start. The Braves still won that contest by a score of 6-5, though. Teheran has shackled this Mets’ lineup in his career, as they are hitting just .183 against him in 273 at-bats.
On the other side, the Braves are hitting .259 against Vargas in 139 at-bats. Ronald Acuna Jr. has gone 4-for-5 at the plate with a long ball against Vargas. Ozzie Albies is hitting .375 in 8 at-bats vs the lefty. The pitcher, Teheran, has also been good against Vargas with 2 hits in 4 at-bats. Vargas goes into Thursday with an ERA of 4.80 in his previous three starts. The last time the Braves faced Vargas at Citi Field, they got 6 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings of play on August 2nd. The Braves won’t have to deal with a Cy Young pitcher tonight and it is likely going to show on the scoreboard. They respond on Thursday and put the deGrom loss in the past.