MLB Preview: Braves vs Mets

Mets Baseball

Braves Start Defense of NL East Title Against Mets

The New York Mets turn to their ace as they host the Atlanta Braves in Friday’s long-delayed season opener. Jacob deGrom has won the past two National League Cy Young awards.

TIME: 4:10 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN, FS South, SNY; LINE: Mets -165; Total: 8 Under -120

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Mike Soroka (2019: 13-4, 2.68 ERA) vs. Mets RH Jacob deGrom (2019: 11-8, 2.43)

The right-hander put a scare into the Mets when he experienced back tightness last week. After a precautionary MRI and an issue-free, 60-pitch simulated game Sunday that eased concerns. deGrom will make his second consecutive Opening Day start.

The Mets need deGrom to be at his best from the beginning of this shortened 60-game season. Fellow ace Noah Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery in March and starter Marcus Stroman landed on the injured list Wednesday with a torn muscle in his left calf. That leaves the Mets needing him to be a workhorse

DeGrom only made two starts before the global pandemic shut down spring training. He allowed one run on two hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

The 32-year-old finished second in the NL in ERA and WHIP (0.97), and third in innings pitched (204) last season. He averaged 11.25 strikeouts per nine innings. DeGrom went 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in four starts against Atlanta last season. He has 21 career starts against the Braves and is 7-7 with a 1.97 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.

Braves Look for Hot Start to Season

The Braves begin their quest for a third consecutive NL East title with 20 games in 20 days. One thing can be said is nobody on Atlanta’s roster is happier to be back than Freddie Freeman. The All-Star first baseman tested positive for the coronavirus as summer camp began. He missed more than two weeks of action before being cleared July 17th.

Freeman hit .295 with 38 homers and 121 RBI’s last season. He has played in three intrasquad games and two exhibition contests against Miami with no health issues. The Braves expect him to continue to be healthy

Soroka made the All-Star team in his first full season with the team. He finished runner-up to Mets first baseman Pete Alonso for Rookie of the Year and sixth in Cy Young voting. He is expected to carry the bulk of the load this season.

The 22-year-old led the NL in homers allowed per nine innings (0.721) and ranked third in ERA. He gave up two earned runs or less in 17 of his starts of at least five innings. Soroka beat the Mets at Citi Field in his major league debut on May 1, 2018. He is 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in five career starts against New York.

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This, That, and a Dart Throw

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes, who has not played in the majors since July 20, 2018 due to injuries to his feet and legs, is expected to be the designated hitter Friday.

Atlanta signed free agent 1B Matt Adams, who hit 19 homers with an .858 OPS in 100 games with the Braves in 2017, on Monday to help fill the DH role.

Alonso led the majors in 2019 with a rookie-record 53 homers and finished third in the NL with 120 RBIs.

The Dart Throw: Mets 2, Braves 0

Braves vs Mets Betting Odds & Trends

New York Mets
NY Mets is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
NY Mets is 8-15 ATS in its last 23 games at home
NY Mets is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
NY Mets is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of NY Mets’s last 6 games when playing Atlanta
NY Mets is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of NY Mets’s last 22 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Atlanta Braves
Atlanta is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Atlanta is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta’s last 6 games
Atlanta is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Atlanta is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Atlanta is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing NY Mets
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Atlanta’s last 6 games when playing NY Mets
Atlanta is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against NY Mets
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Atlanta’s last 22 games when playing on the road against NY Mets

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