Atlanta Braves vs New York Mets - Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Braves look to put a fresh foot forward after a heartbreaking end to 2019
- The Mets finished the 2019 season on a tear, leading toward optimism for 2020
- Reigning Cy-Young winner Jacob DeGrom goes head-to-head with Rookie of the Year runner up Mike Soroka
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|What||Atlanta Braves at the New York Mets|
|Where||Citi Field, Queens, New York|
|When||Friday, July 24, 2020, 4:10 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN|
Relativity is a funny thing. The Mets ended the season feeling mighty good about themselves, going 46-26 over their final 72 games. The Braves ended the season in heartbreak, losing the final game of the year 13-1.
What These Facts Don’t Tell You Is the Mets Would Have Loved to Have Switched Places
The Braves won the NL East and finished 11 games ahead of the Mets, but Atlanta’s lopsided loss in game five of the NLDS is what will stick with its fans for a long time – as will their blown 4-3 lead in the eighth inning of Game 4 when they could have sealed the series.
Still, the foundation is set for a bright future for Atlanta with a good combination of young and veteran talent. Youth will be on full display Friday when Mike Soroka takes the mound. Soroka, 22, will be the youngest Opening Day starter in Braves history when he toes the rubber on Friday, so one could expect some nerves. Not to mention he will have a tall task ahead of him, slated to go against reigning NL Cy Young award winner Jacob DeGrom.
But he shouldn’t be too overwhelmed; these two faced off once last year and Soroka got the better of DeGrom in a 6-2 Braves win. Soroka went 6.1 innings giving up just two runs, while DeGrom gave up three runs in six innings of work.
Braves vs Mets Odds
|Team||Run spread||Total||Money Line|
|Atlanta Braves||+1.5 (-189)||O 7 (-110)||+125|
|New York Mets||-1.5 (+155)||U 7 (-110)||-139|
Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook
But still, DeGrom is the ace of this matchup. What else can be said about DeGrom that hasn’t already been said? He’s been the best pitcher in baseball the past two seasons, even though his combined record of 21-17 doesn’t come anywhere near the stratosphere of demonstrating how good he’s been. Over his past 61 starts, DeGrom has an ERA under 2.00 and his 8.2 WAR (wins above replacement) was the best of any pitcher in 2019.
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Atlanta Benefits From Universal DH
Every team in the NL can expect to put up slightly better offensive numbers this season than in years past. With a designated hitter replacing a pitcher, that is rather obvious. But some teams benefit more than others and Atlanta is one of them.
Marcell Ozuna and Nick Markakis have both won Gold Gloves since 2017, but in 2019 were well below-average defensive outfielders. Sliding either one of them into the DH spot gives the Braves a chance to keep both bats in the lineup while not forcing Ronald Acuña Jr. to move from right to center and taking Ender Inciarte out of the middle of that defense.
On other days, power hitter Austin Riley – who will have a hard time cracking the lineup behind Freddie Freeman – can get in the game. Or, flip that and Freeman can get some rest every fourth game or so, put Riley in at first and Freeman can DH.
There’s plenty of options for Atlanta as far as how to approach this on Opening Day and pretty much all of them are good.
Mets Lineup as Fearsome as Its Rotation
The NL East is stacked and it’s led by the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals. But according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections, it’s not Atlanta with the second-best chance to win the division – it’s the Mets. The strength of this team is its deep starting pitching rotation, but the lineup is quietly one of the more potent lineups in the NL.
Jeff McNeil is one of the young, potent up-and-coming hitters in the game. He hits right before reigning NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso. Following him is cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes, who is a major question mark coming off of this third surgery, but throughout his career has proved he can flat out hit. Combine that with one of the better hitting catchers in Wilson Ramos, and one of the best second basemen of this generation in Robinson Cano (who still has plenty left in the tank), and it is easy to see why people are afraid of the middle of this lineup.
Atlanta went 11-8 against the spread in games against the Mets last year, while both the over and under-hit eight times and pushed three times in 19 meetings a season ago. Although, in the first 16 games of the season, Atlanta was 10-6 against the spread before getting swept in the final series of the year (covering once) after they’d already wrapped up the division.
“Scared money doesn’t make money,” so there’s no point intake the Braves with the spread. The Mets have been notoriously bad at giving DeGrom run support – 68 times he’s had a quality start without picking up the win. He’s just 19-17 in his last 61 starts despite an era within a shade of 2.00 in those games. We’re taking the Braves, money line.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.