The Mets and Braves finish off a critical 3-game series on Wednesday afternoon, as Atlanta aims to put even more pressure on its NL East rival. The Braves entered the series just 1.5 games back of the Mets but missed an opportunity on Monday, dropping the opening game against Max Scherzer. Chris Bassitt will get the ball for the Mets on Wednesday, facing veteran Charlie Morton.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Wednesday’s matchup.
New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Betting Odds
Despite losing the opening game of the series, the Braves are favored on Wednesday at -140 on the money line. While the Mets still lead the division, Atlanta is 29-9 since the start of June and has the benefit of playing at home. The Mets are 20-16 over that span. The over/under is set at 9 runs, which might be on the high end for an early afternoon start. You can bank on the starters eating innings in this one – Morton and Bassitt have each lasted into the 7th inning in four of their last five starts.
New York Mets Starting Lineup
C. Bassitt R
6-6 3.94 ERA
CF B. Nimmo L
LF M. Canha R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
DH D. Smith L
3B E. Escobar S
2B L. Guillorme L
C P. Mazeika L
RF T. Jankowski L
New York Mets vs. Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton, a two-time World Series champion, is among the most experienced active pitchers with 308 career starts. He isn’t having his best year, however, and control issues have been part of the problem. Morton’s walk rate is at its highest since 2018, and he’s leading the NL with 10 hit batters. Morton has a 4.21 ERA over 17 starts (94 IP), with a 3.87 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, and 108 strikeouts. He’s been much better lately, posting a 1.60 ERA over his last five starts to bring his season ERA down a full run and a half.
Morton will face a Mets offense that is producing more than it did in June but still hasn’t returned to its early-season levels. New York posted 18 runs in a two-game span last week but came back to earth later in their series against Miami – though we’ll give them a pass for being shut down by Sandy Alcantara. Given Morton can be prone to walks, he’ll have to be wary of Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha. Starling Marte and Luis Guillorme both come into this game on a tear, batting a combined .455 over the past week. Whether some of the Mets’ contact hitters can come through in big spots against Morton, who limits contact, will be key. If not, it’ll be up to Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor to flash their power.
Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup
C. Morton R
5-3 4.21 ERA
RF R. Acuna R
SS D. Swanson R
1B M. Olson L
3B A. Riley R
C T. d’Arnaud R
DH M. Ozuna R
LF A. Duvall R
CF M. Harris L
2B R. Cano L
Atlanta Braves vs. Chris Bassitt
The Mets didn’t need to trade for Chris Bassitt in March, but they knew the odds their talented rotation would stay healthy were slim. The deal has proven to be a smart one. While Bassitt has been a mixed bag this season, he’s given Buck Showalter critical innings during absences from Scherzer, deGrom, and Megill. Bassitt has a 3.94 ERA over 16 starts (96 IP), with a 3.79 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, and 98 strikeouts. He looked like a potential all-star over the first six weeks of the season but hit a rough patch in late May in early June. Over his last four outings, however, Bassitt has a 2.60 ERA and has averaged nearly 7 innings per start.
The Braves are hitting nearly .270 with an OPS north of .800 since the start of June. They were shut down by Scherzer on Monday, but this is such a deep lineup that it’ll probably be difficult to do that again. Austin Riley is one of baseball’s hottest hitters, batting .469 with 6 home runs and a 1.448 OPS since June 30. The Braves have plenty of power threats, including Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcell Ozuna, and even newly-minted all-star William Contreras. Bassitt has only allowed 2 home runs over his last five starts, so something will have to give. Keep an eye on rookie Michael Harris II, who always seems to come up with that big hit for Atlanta.
New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Picks & Prediction
My pick: Dansby Swanson to Record 2+ Hits
Dansby Swanson has 15 multi-hit games in his last 33. That’s more than 45% of games over that span, which tells me the chances of it happening again are better than the betting odds will indicate. Chris Bassitt doesn’t give up a barrage of hits, but he doesn’t limit contact like Charlie Morton does. Swanson has been excellent in his contract year, batting .343 over his last 50 games. With the all-star break approaching, this doesn’t look like a fluke.
Morton has been good enough lately that it’s tough to bet against the Braves in this one. The early start time might limit scoring, but Atlanta has so many threats in its lineup that it’s hard to see this offense falling flat to close out the series. The Braves are under .500 in day games this season, but I wouldn’t look too far into that – 8 of their 14 day game losses came within the first four weeks of the season. This is a different Braves team here in July.