The Mets ride Big Mo into the opener of a four-game series with the Braves, but go against a hard-luck case in Shelby Miller. Where is the betting value on this contest?
Mets vs. Braves: Thursday Odds
As of this writing the best MLB Odds we could find on New York with Bartolo Colon was the -144 at Pinnacle, while Atlanta and Shelby Miller were getting +136 at Heritage. Also, the Mets were getting +120 giving the 1.5 runs on the run line at Pinnacle.
New York might have just secured a division title by sweeping three games at Washington this week, winning Wednesday's series finale 5-3. The Mets trailed 2-1 going into the eighth inning, but rallied for the victory for the third day in a row.
At 78-61 New York leads the NL East by seven games over the second-place Nats, and now trails Los Angeles by just two games in the battle for the No. 2 seed in the upcoming National League playoffs.
Atlanta, meanwhile, just took two of three games in Philly, winning Wednesday 8-1. The victory snapped a six-series losing streak for the Braves.
At 56-84 Atlanta is on its way to its worst record in 25 seasons.
These teams, though separated by 22.5 games in the standings, have split 12 meeting this season, with the OVERS going 9-3, mainly because of the low totals posted on Mets vs. Braves games.
Miller (5-13, 2.81) is 16-for-28 on quality starts this season, but only one for his last four. Last Saturday he gave up seven runs – six earned – in less than five innings against Washington, and over his last four starts he's allowed 14 earned runs through 24 1/3 innings. For the season, though, Miller has allowed 152 hits through 176 innings, walked 61 and struck out 151.
Atlanta is 10-18 in Miller's starts, but perhaps more indicative of his performance the UNDERS are 18-9.
In his one start this season against New York Miller gave up three runs and eight hits through 6 1/3 innings of a 5-3 Braves victory back in June.
Colon (13-11, 4.18) is 15-for-27 on quality starts, working on a string of three in a row and a scoreless streak of 25 innings. Last Saturday he tossed a nine-hit, complete-game shutout against Miami, and over his last four appearances, including an emergency inning in relief a couple weeks ago against Boston, he's allowed 19 hits, four walks and zero runs through 25 innings. On the season the Rotund One has allowed 190 hits, including 22 homers, through 170 innings, walked just 21 while striking out 127.
New York is 14-13 in Colon's starts, with the totals splitting 13-13.
In three starts this season against Atlanta Colon has allowed eight runs through 19 innings; the Mets won all three of those games, and all three games played OVER.
Thursday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 19th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .311 team on-base percentage, and 22nd with a .397 team slugging percentage.
Atlanta ranks 15th against righties with a .318 team OBP but dead last with a .367 team slugging percentage.
We'll give the Mets a short edge with the sticks for tonight.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Turner Field this season are 34-25 on the OVERS, averaging 8.5 runs per.
Mets-Braves Free Picks
We have to give Miller a short edge in the pitching match-up, but New York gets the check marks with the bats and in the bullpen. So we'll go with the Mets for our MLB pick. Also, if Colon can throw to recent form, and Miller can find some of his past form, this game should play UNDER.
Free MLB Picks: New York & under 8 (-115) at Heritage