Braves are the Underdog MLB Pick to End Mets’ Win Streak

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 4:37 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Tuesday.

 



The hottest team in the National League could be in danger of having its eight-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night when right-hander Trevor Cahill and the Atlanta Braves (8-4, 5-1 away) pay a visit to left-hander Jon Niese and those red-hot New York Mets (10-3, 7-0 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 7:10 ET in a game available on SNY.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Atlanta as a decided underdog for this contest at current odds of +135.


Best Record in National League
The Mets currently own the best record in the National League at 10-3 and they are a perfect 7-0 at Citi Field after posting their eighth straight win 7-6 Sunday over the Miami Marlins to complete a four-game sweep after beginning their home season with a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. The current winning streak began when the Mets beat these Braves in the final game of their most recent road trip in Atlanta.

The Braves were the winning MLB picks in two out of three games north of the border vs. the Blue Jays in Toronto in interleague action this past weekend before having Monday off, and they sit second in the National League East trailing the Mets by just 1½ with an 8-4 mark. Outfielder Nick Markakis was probably unhappy about leaving Canada after reaching base in 11 of his 14 plate appearances in the three games vs. the Jays.


Wounded Mets
The southpaw Niese pitched better than his 9-11 record last season as he finished with a 3.40 ERA and 138 strikeouts vs. 45 walks, but after pitching in hard luck last year, he is actually lucky to be 1-0 plus a no-decision in two starts this season. The no-decision came vs. these Braves in Atlanta where Niese allowed three runs on seven hits in only five innings, and Niese has a rather ugly 1.76 WHIP and .314 batting average allowed to begin this season.

Furthermore, he may not get as much support as usual from both his lineup and his bullpen. The Mets were already without All-Star David Wright after he was placed on the Disabled List last week, but Sunday’s win vs. the Marlins proved to be more costly when New York lost both starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who was starting to fulfill his vast potential with two homers, 10 RBI and five runs scored, to a broken hand and reliever Jerry Blevins to a fractured forearm.

The former Washington National southpaw Blevins had been perfect in relief this season retiring all 15 batters that he had faced over seven appearances and he could be tough to replace in spot situation where having a reliable lefty would be ideal.


Braves 5-1 on Road
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year with not much expected from the Braves, but you would not know it from their play so far, especially on the road where Atlanta is 5-1 with the only loss coming in extra innings in walk-off fashion in Toronto on Saturday. And remember that the Braves took two out of three from the first-place Mets in Atlanta, winning the first two games of that series before New York began its winning streak by salvaging the finale.

Granted, Cahill did not impress in his Braves’ debut lasting only 2.1 innings while getting touched up for four earned runs on five hits plus three walks by the Marlins last Tuesday. Still, the veteran has had some fine seasons in the Major Leagues and pitchers have tended to improve once joining the Braves due to their great pitching coaches over the years, so we think it would be a mistake to write Cahill off after just 2.1 innings in an Atlanta uniform.


Trends Favoring Braves
While Niese had been pitching better than his record prior to this season, the fact remains that the Mets have just a 5-17 team record in his last 22 starts vs. teams with winning records. Meanwhile, the Braves continue to be dangerous underdogs going an excellent 9-3 in their last 12 games in this role, as well as 4-0 in their last four games vs. left-handed starters.

The Braves could be overlays in this spot vs. the hot but short-handed Mets, so take Atlanta at a nice underdog price while opening up a series in New York on Tuesday.

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MLB Pick: Braves +135