Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#907 New York Mets 10 vs.
#908 Atlanta Braves -120
Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 7:20pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets will wrap up a three-game series when they square off at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Thursday night.

Tough loss for Mets

The Mets lost for just the third time in their past 18 games on Tuesday, falling to Atlanta 5-3. They also may have lost second baseman Jeff McNeil–who is second in the National League in batting at .332–in the ninth inning as he pulled up with a left leg injury after trying to beat out a grounder. On the bright side, center fielder Juan Lagares matched a career-high with four hits to go along with a run scored and a RBI. Lagares entered the series with just four hits in his previous 23 at-bats and a .180 average for the season. First baseman Pete Alonso went 1-for-4 with a single and remains at 38 homers, one off the NL rookie record set by Cody Bellinger in 2017 and three shy of the franchise record shared by Todd Hundley (1996) and Carlos Beltran (2006).

Right-hander Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.20 ERA) is taking the mound for New York on Thursday. Stroman was outstanding for Toronto this season despite a bad record that he incurred due to disastrous run support. He has not been as strong in two starts with the Mets since being moved at the trade deadline. The 28-year-old has given up seven runs on 16 hits in 10.1 total innings.

Acuna Jr. up for MVP?

Ronald Acuna Jr. is not exactly a lock for the National League MVP award given strong seasons by Bellinger and Christian Yelich, but the Braves star outfielder is continuing his impressive summer surge. The 21-year-old slugged his 34th homer and became the first NL player this season to reach 100 runs scored in Tuesday’s victory, finishing with two hits while throwing out a runner at home plate. Acuna enters the middle contest of the three-game series hitting .299 with a National League-leading 28 steals for the first-place Braves, who pounded out 13 hits in maintaining their six-game lead over Washington in the NL East standings.

Right-hander Julio Teheran (7-7, 3.35 ERA) will oppose Stroman on Thursday. Teheran is in the midst of a bounce-back season and has been especially impressive of late. Since the start of July, the 28-year-old has made seven starts and has worked at least 5.0 innings in all of them while allowing no more than three runs. In six of the seven, he has logged at least 5.2 innings and surrendered two runs or fewer.

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The Braves have been successful in the head-to-head series this year, just as they have been against every National League East rival. With Teheran in resurgent form, more of the same can be expected on Thursday. Moreover, Atlanta’s daunting lineup should be able to take advantage of Stroman–who has not yet found the groove with his new club. New York is 1-5 in its last six at Atlanta. The Braves are 4-1 in the last five meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves

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Josh Donaldson snapped a 0-for-12 skid with three hits Tuesday. The combination of Donaldson, Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies, the Braves’ lineup is a juggernaut. Atlanta’s bullpen, which had pitched to a 6.55 ERA in August entering the series, allowed two runs in three innings on Tuesday. The over is 6-2-1 in the Mets’ last nine against right-handed starters and 16-7-4 in their last 27 against the National League East. It is also 5-1-1 in the Braves’ last seven overall, 3-0-1 in their last four against starters with WHIPs over 1.30, and 3-1-1 in their last five against right-handed starters. Look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.