MLB Betting: How To Profit From This Mets vs. Braves Game?

Friday, June 24, 2016 10:00 AM GMT

The Atlanta Braves have taken four straight games from the New York Mets. The baseball odds have the Mets favored for Friday night's matchup, but can we trust them?

The Atlanta Braves have won seven of their last eight games. Wait, what? Yes, the Braves (25-47, –9.84 units) are on a big-time roll right now, and they've done it largely at the expense of the New York Mets (39-34, +4.88 units). Atlanta swept a three-game series in Flushing last week, and they've taken the first of four games at Turner Field, beating New York 4-3 on Thursday as +136 home dogs.

The Braves are once again the underdogs on the MLB Odds for Friday's matchup (7:35 p.m. ET, TBS), priced at +145 versus the slumping Mets. That might look like a bargain given recent results, but hold on: Atlanta is starting rookie Aaron Blair, while New York will have super sophomore Steven Matz on the mound. This is a mismatch of epic proportions – in theory.

The Blair Pitch Project
Blair (5.80 FIP) came to the Braves last December in the trade that sent Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's not the best prospect Atlanta got in the deal – that would be last year's No. 1 overall pick, SS Dansby Swanson. However, Blair pitched reasonably well in the Diamondbacks system, and he's getting a crack at the majors with the rebuilding Braves.

It's been tough sledding so far. Blair has led Atlanta to a 2-8 record in 10 starts, dropping 4.71 betting units along the way. But his last start ended up being a 4-3 win over the Mets (–254 at home), even though he was out-dueled by Matz in that contest. The Braves got to New York's bullpen to steal the victory.

Matz (2.71 FIP) must be sick of that by now. New York has dropped each of his last four starts to fall to 7-5 with him on the mound, leaving him 0.50 units in the red – two of those four losses were no-decisions for Matz, including Saturday's quality start against the Braves. Also, Matz came out of that game with a stiff elbow; he threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and appears to be fine for Friday.

 

Fantasy Corner
The Mets batting order has run into some injury problems, too. OF Yoenis Cespedes (.946 OPS) may be back Friday after missing Thursday's game to rest his sprained wrist, but OF Juan Lagares (.760 OPS), 3B David Wright (.788 OPS) and 1B Lucas Duda (.727 OPS) are all on the shelf. You might want to get SS Asdrubal Cabrera (.748 OPS) into your fantasy lineup; he's only owned in 9.2 percent of ESPN leagues, and he went 2-for-4 in the last game against Blair.

Still, we're going to roll the dice with New York for our MLB Picks. The Mets bullpen isn't normally that bad, and FiveThirtyEight has them winning 65 percent of the time, which translates to –186 using our SBR Betting Odds Converter. All these injuries won't help, but we'll take our chances with Blair on the mound.

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Free MLB Pick: Mets -160
Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction
Record: 13-13 ML, 4-0-1 Totals (+4.14 units)