Mets' deGrom to Dazzle Braves in 2017 Debut


Jay Pryce

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 1:06 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017 1:06 PM UTC

Bartolo Colon squares off against Jacob deGrom and his former teammates when the Braves and Mets tangle at Citi Field in the second of a three-game opening series Wednesday night.

Atlanta Braves vs N.Y. Mets


Atlanta Braves (0-1)

The ageless wonder Bartolo Colon will make his first start in a Braves uniform in very familiar confines: Citi Field. The 43-year-old, dubbed “Big Sexy” by Mets fans, pitched the last three seasons in Queens. Colon went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 2016. He tossed 190 innings and 30 starts for the fourth consecutive season. The Braves are his ninth MLB team in a 20-year career.

Few Mets hitters have faced Colon, but those that have put up decent numbers. Curtis Granderson, Jose Reyes and Neil Walker are a combined 12-for-35 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs. Asdrubal Cabrera, on the other hand, has just one hit and 2 walks in 19 plate appearances.

The Braves are 11-9 in their last 20 as road underdogs at Citi Field. The club has taken the first pitch at +158 odds on average, returning 51 percent profit to backers.


New York Mets (1-0)

The Mets know how to get off to a good start in Queens. They are 36-20 all-time in home openers after shutting out Atlanta 6-0 on Monday. Moreover, the victory halted a six-game home losing streak against the Braves. New York blew up the Atlanta bullpen for all their runs in a five-walk seventh inning.

Manager Terry Collins turns to Jacob deGrom for game two of the series. It’s the 2016 All-Star’s first regular-season start since undergoing September surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. The hard-throwing right-hander fanned 148 batters in 143 innings last season, yet finished with a 7-8 record and career-high 1.20 WHIP.

The current Braves lineup is hitting .245 lifetime against deGrom. They do struggle with a high K rate, whiffing 25 times as a bunch, equal to their number of hits. Outfielders Nick Markakis (6-for-15) and Ender Inciarte (4-for-10) are each batting .400. Markakis and Freeman are also the only two in the lineup to hit home runs in 110 overall plate appearances.

The Mets are a perfect 10-0 when deGrom takes the mound at Citi Field as chalk in April and May in his career. The team is yielding 2.6 runs per game in this spot. deGrom has gifted more than one run through the first five innings twice in the 10 starts.

deGrom looked every bit an ace in spring training, upping his fastball back to 2015 levels in the 95-97 mph range. This bodes well for his changeup, which the flame thrower vows to throw more often. At 28-years old, deGrom is in his prime, and is a NL Cy Young favorite. The Braves will be victim No. 1 en route to a career-best season.

The money line is a bit chalky on the Mets. Expect Colon to match deGrom early in a duel. Play the UNDER through the first five innings for the fairest value.

Free MLB Pick: Under 1HBest Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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