The Atlanta Braves showed how you wrap up a weekend yesterday. They put on a clinic, dispatching the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 15-1. A day after Luke Jackson blew a late lead for the Braves, the home team responded in a big way with a 15-1 blowout. Despite the loss on Saturday, the Braves were winners in two out of three games against their divisional rivals. It would have felt especially sweet to get the three-game sweep, but they will be happy with two out of three W’s.
Roles were reserved after the Phillies blew a late lead on Friday night, and then the Braves did the same the following night. There was none of that on Sunday, as Atlanta jumped out to a 3-run lead in the 1st inning and never looked back. There were six different hitters with 2 RBI’s in the win.
Following a successful weekend, the Braves go into Monday with a 2.5-game lead on the Phillies. It gives them a bit of breathing room in the NL East, but it’s only June 17th after all. Post All-Star Game will reveal a lot more, including whether Bryce Harper is going to step up and earn his paycheck or continue to play like the second coming of Dan Uggla. The trade deadline will elevate some teams as well. A lot left to be decided.
The Braves will turn their attention on the New York Mets to start the week, as they’ll be on town for a three-game series at SunTrust Park. Following this series, the Braves go on a lengthy road trip for ten games. The Mets are coming off a less than perfect series against the Cardinals at Citi Field. They lost three of four games, most recently a 4-3 loss on Sunday afternoon. Zack Wheeler will look to get the Mets back on track, while Mike Soroka is seeking a bounce back performance after the worst of his young career. Head below for our free Mets vs. Braves pick.
N.Y. Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Mike Soroka was bound to hit a snag at some point this season. He was pitching at an elite level as a rookie and already has his hand in Cy Young discussions in the National League. Soroka got hit for 5 runs in what was the first time of his career against the Pirates. He previously hadn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a start, which only happened once. Despite the blemish on his resume, Soroka’s overall body of work has been more than impressive.
The rookie will go into Monday with a solid ERA of 1.92 and 0.97 WHIP. While it’s going to be difficult to top the likes of Ryu in a Cy Young race, Soroka is in a good position. He currently leads the National League with only 0.256 home runs allowed per game. Not bad for a 21-year-old. Young pitchers tend to make more mistakes that get exploited than their experience counterparts, but Soroka is playing beyond his years. He ERA of 1.92 is 2nd in the NL, trailing only Ryu and ahead of Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds.
Zack Wheeler has been attracting trade interest from opposing teams, so his trade value may improve or falter on what he does in his next scheduled starts. He’s been out of his rhythm recently and will look to improve on a shoddy performance against the Yankees. Wheeler was tagged for 10 hits and 5 earned runs in 4.2 innings.
In his last three outings, he holds an ERA of 5.79 in 18.2 innings. The Braves have gone well against Wheeler in previous meetings, as they’ve hit him for a .320 batting average and .429 OBP in 97 at-bats. Freddie Freeman has been a beast against Wheeler, having a .500 batting average in 20 at-bats with 2 home runs and 6 RBI’s. Wheeler has also been down on the road with a 5.48 ERA and 1.45 WHIP this season. The Braves should be able to keep their momentum against the Mets on Monday evening.