The Atlanta Braves will host the New York Mets in the second game of their four-game series on Saturday night. Atlanta took the first game of the set 11-10 on Friday thanks to five runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. With the victory, the Braves have now won three straight games and have a 5-3 record on the season. The Mets have lost three consecutive games and are 3-5 on the season.
Last season these division rivals played each other 19 times with the Braves winning 11 of those meetings. This season Atlanta has won three of their four games against the Mets so far.
Offseason free-agent acquisition Michael Wacha is scheduled to start for the Mets. Wacha was 6-7 last season with a 4.76 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals. This season Wacha is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
The Braves have listed Touki Toussaint as Saturday's starting pitcher. Toussaint was 4-0 with a 5.62 ERA in 2019. This season Toussaint has made one start and has a 20.25 ERA.
Mets drop third straight gameThe New Mets finished the 2019 season with an 86-76 record, good for third in the NL East, but failed to qualify for the postseason for the third consecutive season.
First baseman Pete Alonsohit a major league-leading 53 home runs and added a team-high 120 RBI last season. Shortstop Amed Rosario, stole 19 bases last year to go along with 15 home runs and 72 RBI. Michael Conforto (33 HR and 92 RBI), Jeff McNeil (23 HR and 75 RBI), and J.D Davis (.307 BA 22 HR and 57 RBI) also were all essential pieces to the Mets in 2019 and returned providing depth to the lineup. The New York Mets also haveYoenis Cespedes back this year, after the 34-year old native of Campechuela, Cuba missed the entire 2019 with an ankle injury. This season as the designated hitter, Cespedes is batting .182 with a team-high two home runs so far this season.
In 2020, the Mets are off to 3-5 start after suffering their third straight loss Friday night 11-10. The loss was very disappointing after New York held an 8-2 lead in the 5th inning, and a 10-6 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th.
Collectively the Mets are currently 8th in MLB with a .759 OPS and second with a .262 batting average through eight games so far this season.
Micheal Wacha, who was signed to a one-year contract in the offseason pitched very well in his Mets debut on Monday, when he was the winning pitcher in the Mets 7-4 road win over the Boston Red Sox. Wacha pitched five innings, allowing five hits, and only while earned run while recording four strikeouts. Wacha is 0-3 lifetime against the Atlanta Braves with a 3.65 earned run average, over six appearances, which includes four starts.
Braves rally from six run deficitIn 2019, Atlanta won the NL East with a 97-65 record. In the NL Division Series after taking a 2-1 series lead, the Braves went on to drop Game 4 by a score of 5-4, and the deciding game Game 5, 13-1, which resulted in being eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals. It was the tenth straight postseason series loss for the Braves franchise. The Braves lost their third baseman Josh Donaldson who hit 37 home runs and 94 RBI last season after he decided to take his talents to Minnesota, but the Braves roster still has plenty of talent. The Braves are off to a 5-3 start after coming back to beat the Mets on Friday. Shortstop Dansby Swanson is off to an excellent start for Atlanta, batting .387 with two home runs and 11 RBI through the first eight games. In 2019 Swanson hit .251 with 17 home runs and 65 RBI on the season. Marcell Ozuna has made an immediate impact after signing a one-year $18 million contract this offseason, batting .346 with two home runs and four RBI in this young season. Ozuna hit 29 home runs with 89 RBI as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019.
Never turn the game off early kids! God I love baseball!!!! https://t.co/71CbttVTfr— Will Smith (@White_Willy13) August 1, 2020
The Braves are still waiting for their young 22-year old superstars Ronald Acuna Jr. to get going. After batting .280 with 41 home runs and 101 RBI in 2019, Acuna is only hitting .152 with no RBI through the first eight games. Freddie Freeman is batting .259 with one home run and four RBI so this far this season after batting .295 with 38 home runs and a team-high 121 RBI in 2019.
The Braves starting pitching staff has suffered some early setbacks. The Braves are currently without three starters who were projected to be in the rotation this season. Felix Hernandez, elected to sit out the 2020 season, Cole Hamels is on the 45-day injured list, and Mike Folynewicz was just sent to the Braves training facility in Gwinnet.
Saturday, the Braves will be starting Touki Toussaint against the Mets. Toussaint appeared in 24 games last season but only made on start. This season Toussaint has allowed six earned runs in one appearance where he pitched 2 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay on July 27.
- Braves are 3-5 in their last 8 games vs a right-handed starter
- Mets are 8-3 in their last 11 games vs a team with a winning record.
- Mets are 6-2 in their last 8 road games.
- Mets are 21-10 in their last 30 games with the total set at 9.0 to 10.5
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Braves have now won three straight games, and the Mets have lost three straight. In the season series, the Braves have now defeated the Mets in the last three meetings as well. The Mets let victory get away from them on Friday night. Still, they have a definite advantage on the mound with Micheal Wacha going against Touki Toussaint. Toussaint has only gone beyond three innings in an appearance twice in his career. The Mets should get to Braves bullpen early in the game and not have an issue scoring once again. I don't expect the Braves to take every game of this series, and Saturday looks like an excellent spot to take the Mets. The Mets are too good to keep losing every game. I expect them to hold on this time for the plus money victory.
Prediction: New York Mets ML +113
Full-Game Total Pick
It's hard for me to take the under after these two teams combined for 21 runs on Friday night. The Mets come into this game with the second-best batting average in MLB and I don't have much faith in Toussaint, and possibly six innings of work from the Brave's bullpen to keep the Mets bats under six runs. The Braves are a dangerous team offensively and currently averaging 5.5 runs per game, even without any production from Ronald Acuna Jr. so far this season.
Wacha pitched well for the Mets in his first start this season, but he did post a 4.76 ERA last season, and the Mets bullpen showed its vulnerability on Friday.
The pitching in this game is just too questionable for me going against the caliber of offensive firepower that both teams possess here. I am putting my faith in the over.
Prediction: Over 10
Full-Game Prop Bet
I like the Mets to win this game, and the advantage is stable during the first half of the game. The Braves do have the better bullpen here and have shown that they will battle until the final out. However, when looking at the starting pitching match-up of Wacha against Touissant, I like the Mets in the first five innings.
Prediction: Mets First 5