MLB Game Preview: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

Jun 8, 2023

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Game: New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves

Time: 7:20 p.m.

Odds: Mets +153, Braves -166

Total: 8.5

On Thursday, the Atlanta Braves will attempt a three-game sweep of the visiting New York Mets by starting major league co-leader in strikeouts Spencer Strider. Strider and Kevin Gausman of Toronto are tied for the most strikeouts in the majors with 113. Strider is 6-2 this season with a 2.97 ERA and the Braves have won 10 of his 12 starts.

The Braves’ young star will go up against veteran Justin Verlander who is 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA. The Braves overcame a 4-1 deficit to win the first two games of the series, winning 6-4 on Tuesday and 7-5 on Wednesday. New York has lost five straight games while Atlanta has won four straight. This season, Atlanta has defeated New York five times, and in their previous 12 games, the Braves have won 10 times. During that span, the Braves are 8-1 against Atlanta at home.

Strider has a 3-1 record and a 5.03 ERA in six career appearances (four starts) against the Mets. On May 1, he defeated New York after pitching five innings and surrendering four runs, five hits, three walks, and eight strikeouts.

Strider has prevailed in his last two starts. He made his most recent start on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching six innings while giving up a season-high four walks and two runs on three hits. He struck out seven, matching his season low.

In his most recent start, against the Blue Jays on Saturday, Verlander threw 117 pitches, the most by a major league pitcher this year. It was his highest pitch total since pitching a no-hitter for the Houston Astros against Toronto in 2019. He threw 120 pitches in that game. The 40-year-old Verlander pitched on Saturday and held the Blue Jays to one run on five hits, three walks, and eight strikeouts.

At Truist Park, Verlander will make his first career start, making it the 34th stadium where he has pitched. On October 2, 2016, he started against the Braves in the final contest played at Turner Field. In three starts against the Braves in his career, Verlander is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

New York first baseman Pete Alonso is unsure of his availability for the series finale. A four-seam fastball from Charlie Morton struck Alonso in the left wrist during the first inning of Wednesday’s game. Alonso had X-rays done, which came back negative, but he is listed as day-to-day.

Alonso currently leads the major leagues with 22 home runs.

Wednesday’s victory by Atlanta manager Brian Snitker tied him with George Stallings for third-most victories in franchise history. From 1913 to 1920, Stallings oversaw the Boston Braves, leading the Miracle Braves to a World Series victory in 1914. With 2,149 victories under his belt, Bobby Cox leads the franchise, and Frank Selee is second with 1,004.

Atlanta leads the NL East by three games over Miami. The Mets are in third place and are 7.5 games back.

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