Mets vs Braves Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Fights to Stay in Division Race

The second game of a pivotal four-game set goes down in Atlanta after the home squad took the first game yesterday. Every game matters for the Braves in the NL East battle, and our MLB betting picks expect the Mets to drop another today.

Last Updated: Aug 16, 2022 3:31 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Ronald Acuna Jr. Atlanta Braves MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets meet for the second game of a four-game set in the Peach State.

We didn't quite reach our strikeout prop for Strider yesterday but managed to cash the others as he led a dominant performance on the mound. The blowout win for the Braves edged them a little closer in the race for the NL East. 

Who will get the second win of the series? Find out in our Mets vs. Braves MLB picks and predictions for Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

Mets vs Braves odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Braves opened up as favorites of -125 on the moneyline. Since then, they have taken more money and fallen to -145, with the Mets returning at +130. The total opened at 9 and has dropped to 8.5 since then.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Mets vs Braves predictions

Picks made on 8/16/2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Mets vs Braves game info

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2022
First pitch: 7:20 p.m. ET
TV: SNY, Bally Sports Southeast

Mets vs Braves betting preview

Starting pitchers

Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.43 ERA): Walker has been lucky this season. An xERA over 4.0, along with a hard-hit rate and exit velocity near the bottom of the league, is evidence of that. What's worked the most for Walker this season is a splitter pitch that he throws pretty well but also produces success because batters don't usually see it. 

Charlie Morton (5-5, 4.26 ERA): Like Walker, Morton’s had some issues with the hard-hit ball this season. In particular, the barrel rate has been awful, which was exposed in his last start against the Red Sox, where he gave up five earned runs and three long balls.

What has failed him the most this season is he producing just a 39% groundball rate vs. his career average of 50%. Morton still has an elite K rate, though, and that's been on display in a big way the last few months. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Braves have scored at least three runs in three of their last four games. Find more MLB betting trends for Mets vs. Braves

Mets vs Braves picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

Last night was a message to the Mets that the divisional race is not over yet. The pitching matchup was held, and the Braves blew out the Mets. I expect a much more competitive game tonight, but I'm still anticipating the Braves to win. 

This isn't a play on Charlie Morton so much as it is one against Taijuan Walker. For Morton, though, I think he'll have some decent success against this lineup. The Mets’ strength isn't precisely hard-hit balls. 

Giving up the hard-hit ball is the weakness for Morton, but since that's not something the Mets will be able to expose hugely, I feel OK about backing him here. He's faced this lineup twice and gave up runs but kept things manageable. That's mostly what I expect out of Morton tonight, nothing dominant but enough to give his team a chance to win.

Now for Walker — who this is a complete fade of. The Braves are simply a terrible matchup for him. There are few lineups you want to face less than Atlanta’s when you have issues with the hard-hit ball. The Braves gave him one of the worst starts of his career in the last meeting, and I expect him to be touched up pretty hard. 

The Braves hit the ball hard with an exit velocity ranking second in the league, along with a hard-hit rate, and Walker gives up a lot of hard-hit balls. No need to overcomplicate this one. 

My projections make the Braves close to a -200 price on the moneyline. That's a significant edge on the current price and one I'll grab confidently. 

Prediction: Braves moneyline (-145 at Circa)

Over/Under analysis

We’ll dig a little deeper into our Walker fade and take the Braves team total Over.

The Braves’ lineup today will have five hitters batting over .300 in their career against Walker. You don't see that very often.

Career numbers against pitchers are not something I often use, but the variables are so huge, and the data are often small that they tend not to have much value. However, I note it here because it aids in the story of Walker's issues with hard-hit balls and why the Braves’ lineup is so problematic for him. 

Something more meaningful is what they've done against the splitter this season. That's a pitch that separates Walker from other pitchers and is why he's had some excellent success this season. Unfortunately for him, the Braves have had great success hitting the splitter, and some of their power hitters, such as Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and Ronaldo Acuna, have career positive run value numbers against that pitch. 

My projections give the Braves about a 55% of scoring Over 2.5 runs in the first five innings, and my handicap sees it as a more likely proposition. 

Atlanta has scored at least three runs in the first five innings in three of its last four games. In addition, the Braves have scored at least four runs in six of their previous seven games. Either way, you slice it, this offense is hot, and I will back them in a good matchup.

Prediction: Braves first five innings team total Over 2.5 (+100 at DraftKings)

Best bet

We're doubling down with the Braves as our best bet here.

With Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer waiting in the wings, Atlanta knows it can't let this one slip up. 

I wrote yesterday about this series being a last gasp moment for the Braves to win the division and if last night is any indication, they also understand this series’ importance. 

Tonight, they have a very favorable matchup, and our projections agree. It's difficult to see them dropping this one tonight with so much at stake.

Pick: Braves moneyline (-145 at Circa)

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