A National League East clash highlights Tuesday’s Major League Baseball schedule, with the red-hot New York Mets on the road against the Atlanta Braves. New York (61-57), thought to be dead and buried a month ago, is 21-6 in its last 27 games and right in the thick of the NL wild card chase. Atlanta (70-50) comfortably leads the division, though it has been average of late.
Oddsmakers have the Braves favored for a 7:20 p.m. ET first pitch. Let’s break down the odds for this divisional clash, with in-depth analysis, betting trends and predictions.
NEW YORK METS AT ATLANTA BRAVES (-125, 9.5 @ BETAMERICA)
Zach Wheeler (9-6, 4.20 ERA) returned from the 10-day injured list July 26 and won his next three starts for the Mets, allowing a total of three runs over 20 1/3 innings. And all three runs came in that first start, a 6-3 win over Pittsburgh in which he threw 5 1/3 innings. Wheeler then threw seven and eight scoreless innings, respectively, in wins over the host White Sox and visiting Marlins.
Over his last seven starts, Wheeler threw scoreless first innings six times, including all three starts since returning from a shoulder problem.
Max Fried (13-4, 4.11 ERA) got the win for the Braves in his last four starts, three of which came after he had a 10-day injured list stint due to a finger blister. On Wednesday at Minnesota, he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings of an 11-7 victory. He’s tossed scoreless opening frames in five straight games and seven of his last nine.
With the above stats, it would seem a scoreless first inning would be a favorite. But it’s not, which makes it even more worthy of a look tonight.
PREDICTION: First Inning Run – No (+105)
FIRST FIVE INNINGS BET
Wheeler allowed two runs or less through five innings in six of his last seven starts, including four games in which he held opponents scoreless through five frames. Fried hasn’t been quite that strong, but he’s been pretty good, yielding two runs or less through five innings in six of his last eight starts.
A lower-scoring first five innings seems reasonable in this spot.
PREDICTION: First Five Innings – Under 5.5 (-120)
PLAYER/TEAM PROP BET
We’re gonna go a little off the grid here with the alternate runline. Fried got a no-decision the last time the Braves faced the Mets, giving up three runs in five innings of an 8-5 road loss June 30. But 11 days earlier, at home, Fried yielded two runs in six innings of a 7-2 victory.
In fact, five of the Braves’ six victories over the Mets this season have come by four or more runs. So consider a good plus-money flier on Fried and the Braves.
PREDICTION: Alternate Runline – Atlanta -2.5 (+215)
FULL GAME TOTAL
Both teams have their share of Over trends, including 6-2-2 in the Mets’ last 10 games and 5-0-1 in the Braves’ last six outings. But the Under is 4-1-1 in Wheeler’s last six starts, hitting in each of his last three appearances, and the total went low in seven of Atlanta’s last nine home games.
You can never be certain pitchers will play to their current form, but Wheeler and Fried have been good lately, so the Under is worth a go.
PREDICTION: Under 9.5 (-115)
FULL GAME SIDE
These NL East rivals haven’t met since a three-game set at the end of June, before the Mets started going haywire. The Braves won the first two in that series as part of a 6-1 run against the Mets. That said, this is a different New York team, winning eight in a row before Sunday’s loss to Washington, and the Mets are 8-1 in their last nine division games.
Still, Atlanta didn’t get to 70 wins by accident, and the Braves have a handful of positive trends with Fried on the bump, including 7-0 against winning teams and 5-2 at home. And Fried struck out 10 last week at Minnesota, in just 5 1/3 innings.
Even red-hot teams hit speed bumps. This could be one. This is backing off a bit on the Player/Team Prop Bet, but a good squad at home, at a reasonable price, merits consideration.
PREDICTION: Atlanta (-135)
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