Game: New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves
Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
Odds: Mets -120, Braves +110
The first 156 regular-season games for the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves were simply the curtain-raiser for this weekend. The Mets are scheduled to visit the Braves on Friday in the first game of a three-game series, one that could determine who wins the National League East.
The Mets are scheduled to start right-hander Jacob deGrom (5-3, 2.93 ERA) against the Braves left-hander Max Fried (13-7, 2.50). Both the Mets and the Braves were off Thursday after they each played NL East underachievers on Wednesday. The Braves dropped a 3-2 walk-off loss to Washington while the Mets beat Miami 5-4 on an Eduardo Escobar game-winning hit.
The Mets (98-58) lead the Braves by one game (97-59) in the NL East. The division champion receives the second first-round bye. The runner-up advances to the wild-card round, which will begin on October 7. That is just two days after the regular season’s conclusion. Both teams would love to have that first-round bye and the extended rest period that goes with it.
The Mets need to win one game in Atlanta to wrap up the season series and guarantee themselves the tiebreaker should the teams have the same record. The new MLB tiebreaker rules have eliminated the one-game playoff. The Mets own a 9-7 advantage in the season series right now.
The only way the Braves could win the division if New York wins two games in this series is by sweeping the Marlins in their final series of the season and if the Mets get swept by Washington in their final series. Both of those season-ending series begin on Monday.
The best pitchers for the Mets and Braves are scheduled to start this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, New York has scheduled Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, while Atlanta is anticipated to respond with 20-game winner Kyle Wright and Charlie Morton, respectively.
DeGrom took the loss Saturday as the Mets lost to the Oakland Athletics, 10-4, following his worst outing in more than three years. He allowed five runs over four innings. It was the first time deGrom surrendered more than three earned runs in a start since Sept. 3, 2019, a span of 40 outings. That is the longest such stretch in baseball history.
On September 22, Fried suffered a tough loss when the Braves fell to the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0. Fried gave up just one run over five innings. He didn’t get any run support. In 27 starts versus the Braves in his career, deGrom is 10-8 with a 2.08 ERA. In 20 games (15 starts), Fried is 6-5 with a 2.84 ERA versus the Mets.
The Mets are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games, however, they are just 4-8 SU in their last 12 games in Atlanta. The Braves had won four straight before the loss to Washington on Wednesday. The total has gone Under in 11 of the Braves’ last 16 games and each of the team’s last five home games. In the series with the Mets, the Over is 7-3 in the last ten games.
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