The Braves have won three of their last four as they open a four-game set in New York against the suddenly slumping Mets. Let’s analyze this NL East showdown and start our week off in winning fashion with another cover in our MLB picks!
Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets
Monday, June 21, 2021 – 05:10 PM EDT at Citi Field
The Braves took three of four against the Cardinals in Atlanta over the weekend including Sunday’s 1-0 pitcher’s duel that was the second leg of a doubleheader. The opening game didn’t go nearly as well with the Braves getting hammered, 9-1, in seven innings.
Due to Saturday’s game being postponed, the doubleheader was set for Sunday and therefore the seven-inning rule applied in both games. Drew Smyly combined with Luke Jackson and Will Smith to blank the Cards in the late game while Ronald Acuña Jr. went long in the bottom of the third inning for the only run of the game.
"I think it was more because it gave us the lead," Acuña said through a translator. "It's always big to hit a home run, but there's no better feeling than to hit a home run to put your team up."
The solo shot made up for Acuña’s zero-for-three performance in the first game which snapped his league-beast 26 game on-base streak. The Braves are 4-6 over their last 10 games, hitting .240 as a team, and have been outscored by one run over that span.
Mets Happy to Be Home
The Mets were far from amazin’ in Washington over the weekend as they dropped three of four to the Nationals including Sunday’s 5-2 decision. Washington’s Kyle Schwarber homered three times in that game and has been a man possessed, going yard nine times over his last 10 games.
"To be honest with you, I don't know what's going on," Schwarber said.
Whatever Faustian deal he struck in the offseason is certainly working out right now in the present. He has 18 homers thus far and is in decent position to eclipse his career-best of 38 set in 2019.
If the Mets are to maintain their tenuous grasp on the top spot in the NL East then their offense has to do better than the 1.8 runs per game they have averaged over their last five contests. And over the last 10 games, the New York lineup has only hit .187 despite going .500 over that span. The silver lining for Mets’ fans is that they are returning home where they have thrived as evidence of their 20-7 mark this season at Citi Field.
Wanna Make a Bet?
Ian Anderson (4-3, 3.58 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) will get the start for the Braves in this late afternoon affair. The 23-year-old righty was whacked around in his last outing when he surrendered four runs on seven hits over four innings of work in what resulted in a 10-8 loss to the Red Sox.
According to betting sites, the Mets will send their ace, Jacob deGrom (6-2, .54 ERA, .51 WHIP), to the bump after being pulled in the third inning of his last start with shoulder soreness. It was the second consecutive start the 33-year-old left the game with issues in his throwing arm.
Although the offense has let him down over the course of his career with the Mets, they didn’t in this game and the bullpen came through as well in the 6-3 Mets’ win over the Cubs.
The Mets are 3-1 against the Braves this season and the MLB odds are clearly in the deGrom camp as reflected by New York being installed as anywhere between a -195 and -210 home favorite. The big question we have to ask ourselves is will deGrom be able to hang in there and mow down the Braves lineup long enough to allow the bullpen to arrive late and take over?
I believe the Mets’ coaches wouldn’t allow him to pitch if they were not comfortable with the results of the tests after his latest performance. The Mets have been outstanding this season at home and have their ace on the hill. If we can get them for under a deuce then let’s lay it and like it!
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.