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The New York Mets will face the Atlanta Braves in the third game of a four-game series. These teams are division rivals and face each other quite often; this is the 15th time they will battle each other this season.
The Mets are sitting at 75-42 and in first place in the NL East with a 3.5-game lead over the Braves. They are having an incredibly successful season and have the second-best record in the league. With that being said, a win tonight and tomorrow would cement their first-place spot and put them 5.5 games over Atlanta. The Braves, on the other hand, have the first Wild Card spot and a 7.5-game lead over the Phillies for the second Wild Card. Their 72-46 record is the fifth-best in the league. They will make the Playoffs, but they would like to do so ad Division leaders. If they win the next two games and sweep this series, they will only be back 1.5 games back from the Mets.
The Braves crushed the Mets 13-1 in the first game of this series and shut them out 5-0 in the second game. Charlie Morton put up a dominant start, throwing 6⅔ innings and striking out 12. He also only gave up one walk. The Braves’ scoring was slow and spread out but more than enough. Robbie Grossman hit a solo home run to right field in the third inning, and Matt Olson followed that up with a two-run dinger in the fourth. Dansby Swanson got in on the action in the seventh; he singled in Ronald Acuna Jr., and Matt Olson sent him in to push the lead to five.
I have been praising the Braves a lot, but I do not expect them to win. This is not because they do not have a great lineup; it is because they are going up against the ageless talent of Max Scherzer tonight. Scherzer missed some time with injuries this season but has been a force when healthy. In 16 starts, he has amassed an 8-2 record, 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 126 strikeouts. He is averaging well over six innings a start and well over one strikeout an inning. In case that was not enough, his last five starts have been extra dominant. He has thrown 33⅔ innings and only given up five earned runs.
The Braves will send Jake Odorizzi to the mound. Odorizzi was traded to Atlanta at the Trade Deadline and has had two short starts with them. He has thrown a combined 8⅔ innings in those two starts and given up four earned runs. Odorizzi has shown in the past that he can be one of the game’s best (he was an All-Star in 2019), but he is no match for Max Scherzer.
The Mets’ bats have been silenced for the last two games, but they will heat up in this one. Bet New York On the moneyline.
The over/under for this game comes in at 7.5 runs. If I were playing it safe, I would say pick the under. However, I am feeling a little dangerous and will go with the over.
The Mets have not been hitting well in the last two games. They have amassed one run and ten hits. However, their hitting this season has been excellent; they are averaging 4.73 runs per game, the fourth-most in the league. I expect them to put up five runs and get their groove back. On the other side, the Braves will score a few as well. I expect them to score three runs, two of which will come against the Mets’ bullpen.
This will not be an incredibly high-scoring game, but it will be enough to pick the over.
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I would recommend tuning in to this game tonight. Max Scherzer is on the mound, and you never know what will happen with him. Besides being an incredibly dominant pitcher, his pitching antics are always entertaining.
For the Braves, I would watch out for Austin Riley. Riley is putting together quite an impressive season and was named to his first All-Star team this year. The 25-year-old third baseman has crushed 30 home runs this season and has 74 RBIs. In addition, he is tied for the 13th-highest WAR in the league at 4.6. As great as his numbers are, he has zero RBIs in the last seven games. I expect that to change tonight. Look for Riley to make solid contact and bring in some runners.
Bet on the Mets’ moneyline, Mets to cover the spread, and on the over.
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|New York Mets vs Atlanta Braves
|Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
|Wednesday, August 17, 7:20 PM EST
|How to Watch
|SportsNet New York, MLB.TV, MLB Extra Innings, Bally Sports South
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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