Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#953 New York Mets 9.5 vs.
#954 Atlanta Braves -155
Monday, June 17, 2019 at 7:20pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of NL East rivals kick off a series down in Hotlanta. The New York Mets open up a road trip with the first game of a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves Monday night. New York finished up a four-game series with the Cardinals at home on Sunday afternoon, losing 4-3. Atlanta cruised to a 15-1 win in the rubber game of their three-game set with the Phillies at home Sunday afternoon. The teams split a four-game set in the only previous series between the teams this season, which took place April 11-14 in Atlanta.

New York Mets Hoping to Get Things Going on the Road

New York dropped three of four at home to St. Louis over the weekend as they fell a run short on Sunday. The Mets enter this contest third in the NL East, 7.5 games behind the Braves in the division. Dominic Smith (run) and Juan Lagares (RBI) each had two hits in the loss for New York to lead the way. Jason Vargas didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed three runs (two earned) on one hit with three walks and four strikeouts over four innings. Chris Flexen (0-3) took the loss as he allowed one run on one hit with no walks and two strikeouts over one inning of work.

Zack Wheeler gets the ball for his 15th start of the year for the Mets as they try to get on track. He is 5-4 with a 4.87 ERA, a 1.286 WHIP, 26 walks and 99 strikeouts over 88.2 innings of work this season. Wheeler took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road in the first game of a doubleheader with the Yankees. He threw 4.2 innings, allowing nine runs (five earned) on 10 hits with one walk and six strikeouts in a 12-5 Mets defeat. Wheeler is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, two walks and 21 strikeouts over 18.2 innings of action in his last three starts. He is 6-3 with a 3.19 ERA, a 1.315 WHIP, 31 walks and 66 strikeouts over 67.2 innings in 11 career starts against the Braves. Wheeler is 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA, a 1.80 WHIP, seven walks and 10 strikeouts over 11.2 innings in two career starts at SunTrust Park.

Atlanta Braves Holding NL East Edge

Atlanta won for the ninth time in 10 games as they crushed the Phillies in the rubber game of their three-game set over the weekend. The Braves enter this one holding a 2.5 game edge over the Phillies in the NL East race. Ronald Acuna Jr. (four runs, two RBI) had four hits to lead the Braves while Josh Donaldson (run, two RBI) and Ozzie Albies (two runs, two RBI) each added three in the victory. Mike Foltynewicz (2-5) earned the win as he threw six solid innings. He allowed one run on four hits with five walks and six strikeouts.

Mike Soroka is in line to make his 12th start of the season for the Braves in this contest. He comes in 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA, a 0.967 WHIP, 18 walks and 60 strikeouts over 70.1 innings of work on the year. Soroka didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came against the Pirates at home on Wednesday. He threw five innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts in a game the Braves won 8-7 in 11 innings. Soroka is 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, three walks and 14 strikeouts over 19.2 innings in his last three starts. He is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA, a 0.649 WHIP, one walk and nine strikeouts over 12.1 innings over two career starts against the Mets. Soroka is 4-2 with a 3.15 ERA, a 1.175 WHIP, 11 walks and 32 strikeouts over 40 innings in seven career starts at SunTrust Park.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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New York has struggled on the road this season and their offensive production has seen a marked decline away from Citi Field. The Mets saw their rotation take a hit as Noah Syndergaard was placed on the injured list with a hamstring injury. New York did get Robinson Cano back but that doesn’t help their pitching. Atlanta has been hot of late and Soroka has been lights out this season, his first full year in the majors. The Braves have the lead in the NL East and playing at home works in their favor here. Atlanta gets the upper hand in the series opener.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves -150

Full-Game Total Pick

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New York’s bats have to be better away from Citi Field. The offensive downgrade on the road is a major reason that the Mets are 14-23 as the visiting team this season. As a team, the Mets have scored seven fewer runs on the road than at home this season despite playing four more games. New York hits eight points worse (.246 to .254), has an OBP 30 points lower and a slugging mark that is 50 points below their Citi Field mark. Atlanta has fared well against teams at home this season: can Soroka continue that trend and keep the New York bats silent?

The over is 5-0 in the Mets’ last five overall, 5-0 in their last 5 on grass, 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record, 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning record and 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Atlanta has seen the over go 8-0-1 in their last 9 home games vs. a right-handed starter, 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter and 12-3-1 in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing record. With Wheeler struggling a bit and the Braves raking, this one ends up over the number.

Prediction: Over 9

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Wheeler was cuffed around hard by the Yankees in his last start and he’s struggled on the road this season. He is 2-3 with a 5.48 ERA, a 1.45 ERA and has given up eight homers in 42.2 innings on the road this season. Wheeler has just three quality starts in seven outings and the Mets are 2-5 in his road starts. Soroka has been better on the road than at home this season but he is 3-1 with a 3.03 ERA at SunTrust Park and the Braves have won four of his five starts. This one should have the Braves in the lead after five innings.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves -160

First Five Innings Total Bet

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This one depends a lot on which version of each starter shows up. Soroka started the season with eight straight starts where he didn’t allow more than two runs or one earned run. However, in his last three starts, he’s given up at least four runs twice. Wheeler has given up at least three runs in each of his last six starts. With the Braves swinging hot bats at the moment, the potential for a couple crooked innings is there: look for this one to be over the number after five.

Prediction: Over 5

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.