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.
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) August 14, 2019
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.
The New York Mets:
- 8-20 in their last 28 road games against teams with winning records
- 1-4 in their last five games against Atlanta
- 1-5 in their last six road games against Atlanta
The Atlanta Braves:
- 5-2 in their last seven overall
- 5-1 in their last six games against teams with winning records
- 5-2 in their last seven games against the National League East