No Spoilers Here: Mets’ Thor Is Doing Just Fine, Should Shut Down Braves

noah syndergaard

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 30, 2018 2:35 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 30, 2018 2:35 PM UTC

The Atlanta Braves have a couple of exciting young hitters, but it figures to be tough sledding Tuesday when the team faces Mets ace Noah Syndergaard.

Atlanta (16-11, 13-11-1 O/U) at NY Mets (17-9, 14-11-1 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Mets RLBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s obviously very early, but the surprising Atlanta Braves could pull within a half-game of the New York Mets for first place in the NL Central – since the advent of the wild card in 1996, around 55 percent of division leaders on May 1 do go on to win said division – with a victory in Queens on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series. It’s a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch from Citi Field.

The Braves could be a juggernaut sooner rather than later as they have two of the most promising position players in baseball in 21-year-old second baseman Ozzie Albies and 20-year-old rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who was widely considered the No. 1 overall prospect in the game before being called up last week. The Braves think so highly of Acuna they offered him a $30 million contract this spring, and he turned it down (must be nice). Frankly, the Venezuelan is looking smart for doing so, hitting .421 with three multiple-hit games already. His OPS is an absurd 1.289. It would be an upset if he’s not the NL Rookie of the Year. Albies, meanwhile, is hitting .293 with nine homers and 20 RBIs. If Atlanta gets any pitching, it’s going to be a monster for a while.

The Mets likely will be without their best hitter, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, for a few games (he says three). He left Sunday’s matchup in San Diego with a left thumb injury. He was injured while sliding into third base on a steal. Cespedes originally stayed in the game but then was replaced when the Mets took the field. When will these guys learn to stop sliding headfirst? Cespedes is off to a bit of a slow start with a .233 average with six homers and 25 RBIs but was 2-for-2 on Sunday and had been showing signs of heating up. Juan Lagares or Brandon Nimmo should start in left field.

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#Mets @ #Padres

Yoenis Cespedes injures his thumb sliding into third base before later exiting the game in the 3rd inning (01:21)

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Probable Pitchers: Newcomb vs. Syndergaard

One of the Braves’ top pitching prospects was 24-year-old lefty Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.23), who gets the call here. He was the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft by the Angels and came to Atlanta in the November 2015 Andrelton Simmons deal. Newcomb faced the Mets on April 20 in Atlanta, allowing two earned and six hits over six in a no-decision. He comes off another ND, surrendering four runs over six in Cincinnati. Newcomb still has some control issues at times with 14 walks in 27.2 innings but does average 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

Asdrubal Cabrera has faced him more than any Met, going 5-for-12 with a double. Amed Rosario, a former top prospect himself, is 2-for-2 with two doubles. No Met has homered off Newcomb. He has allowed three this year.

It’s Mets ace Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.86); originally this was Steven Matz’s turn but he’s having his start skipped due to back stiffness. “Thor” has taken a no-decision in his past three outings despite pitching well in each. Syndergaard was opposite Newcomb in Atlanta on April 20, allowing three runs and seven hits over six with six strikeouts – he’s among the NL leaders with 46 Ks. Syndergaard has just one win in his past four outings despite a 1.82 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and a 29:3 K/BB ratio in that stretch.

Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman is 5-for-12 off him with a homer and four RBIs. Nick Markakis is 4-for-12 with a double. Dansby Swanson 4-for-8. Albies 1-for-3 with a homer. Acuna hadn’t yet been called up when Syndergaard last faced Atlanta.

  • Braves are 3-8 in Newcomb’s last 11 starts vs. National League East.
  • Mets are 6-0 in their last 6 games following an off day.
  • Mets are 5-2 in Syndergaard’s last 7 home starts.

Atlanta has won just two of Newcomb’s past 11 starts vs. teams with a winning record. The Mets are 7-2 in their past nine vs. a lefty. Go New York on the run line for a Tuesday MLB pick.

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