The 2023 New York Mets have capitulated, accepting defeat after a terrible start to the year. They’ve sold off a chunk of their astronomical payroll at the trade deadline, and are looking to the future. However, with the Atlanta Braves coming to town, all focus will be on picking up wins against perhaps the team’s biggest rival, who also happen to be the frontrunners in the National League. Let’s take a look at the odds for this iconic NL East clash, where the prediction is for the Braves to cover a spread of -1.5 with +100 odds.
Braves Vs. Mets Prediction
In a development that should surprise absolutely nobody, the Atlanta Braves are in great position as the regular season reaches its final stages. They’re in great position to win the National League East, and to secure the NL’s top seed. Still, with the LA Dodgers making a late push of sorts for the #1 spot, the Braves surely still have plenty to play for with just about a month and a half left to go.
Things haven’t looked as rosy for the Mets, who spent an absolute ton of cash over the offseason, and had all indications of being contenders in the NL this season after improving on a squad that won 101 games in 2022. The good news is that the prospect hauls netted in their deadline deals were pretty strong, but that doesn’t really help the team win games for the rest of the year.
Of course, the entire point of selling is that this year isn’t the priority, but you never want to roll over and lose games when hosting one of your rivals. After dropping game 1 of this series, the Mets will look to stop the bleeding and pick up at least one game in Saturday’s doubleheader. It’s reasonable to believe that game 1 might be their best shot, as both teams will have an inexperienced starting pitcher on the mound, and things could be wide open.
For Atlanta, it’s Allan Winans, who will be making his second-ever MLB appearance, after a shaky but respectable debut against Milwaukee in late July. He’ll be opposing Denyi Reyes, who has an ERA of 6.14 in six MLB games this year, but has only been marginally better in AAA ball with a 5.77 mark over a much larger sample size. It’s safe to say that starting pitching will not be an area of strength for either side, but both will be reluctant to tap into the bullpen early with another game in the afternoon, and of course another on Sunday Night Baseball.
This is the perfect storm for some runs, so I like the over in this one, even with an elevated number. As for the result, let’s back Atlanta by a couple of runs; the pitching matchup is relatively irrelevant with neither starter giving their side much of an edge, and the Braves have been the better squad this year by a mile and a half.
Braves Vs. Mets Prediction: Braves -1.5 (-135), o11 runs (+100)
Braves Vs. Mets Odds
With a unique starting pitching matchup, we’re seeing some unique numbers, like a scoring total of 11 with the over set at +100 and the under at -120. The Braves are -210 to come out on top, while the Mets are +175.
Braves Vs. Mets Key Matchups
Denyi Reyes vs. Power Bats
Reyes has struggled a lot this season with keeping the ball from getting over the fence; he’s allowed 2.5 home runs per 9 innings across a small MLB sample size, but if we look at his work at AAA Syracuse, where he’s thrown 64 innings, that number is essentially the same. Unfortunately for Reyes, he’s facing the league’s best team when it comes to hitting homers, as Atlanta is more than 30 home runs clear of the Dodgers in second place.
They’re led in that category by Matt Olson, whose 40 home runs now have him tied with Shohei Ohtani for the MLB lead, and give him a solid cushion for the NL home run title. Olson is the team leader by a wide margin, but an astonishing four other Braves have already hit 23 or more home runs. That group is led by Austin Riley with 27 big flies, MVP candidate Ronald Acuña Jr. and powerful second baseman Ozzie Albies with 26 each, and Marcel Ozuna, with 23 homers thus far in under 100 games.
Sean Murphy has also hit 18 homers in 83 games while also ranking as the third-best framing catcher in the MLB. This lineup can absolutely pummel the ball, and should do so against Reyes, a major reason why I have them covering the -1.5 spread in my Braves vs. Mets prediction.
Allan Winans vs. Lefties
Winans, who was actually drafted by none other than the Mets themselves, is only a game into his career, so there’s not much of a track record to go off of. He has an excellent minor league track record, and is a different look than a lot of pitchers are giving in today’s game; he doesn’t throw too hard, but mixes in his four pitches essentially evenly with the sinker being the most-used in his debut, comprising over 28% of his throws, while his four-seamer was actually his least-used, at just under 20%.
Lefties hit Winans pretty hard in his debut, as they put up an OPS of 1.000. We don’t know if this trend will stick, but it’s a good place to start for any righty, and the Mets have a handful of notable lefties in the lineup starting right at the top with leadoff man Brandon Nimmo. Veteran Jeff McNeil could also have some solid at bats from the left side, and switch hitter Francisco Lindor has done well as a lefty against righties with an OPS north of .800 this year.
Braves Vs. Mets Starting Lineups
Braves Starting Lineup
RF R. Acuña Jr. R
2B O. Albies S
3B A. Riley R
1B M. Olson L
C S. Murphy R
DH M. Ozuna
LF E. Rosario L
SS O. Arcia R
CF M. Harris II L
Mets Starting Lineup
CF B. Nimmo L
C F. Alvarez R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
DH M. Vientos R
RF J. McNeil L
3B D. Mendick R
LF R. Ortega L
2B J. Araúz S