Underdog Braves Have the Edge In Matinee vs. Mets

Braves pitcher Julio Teherán

Willie Bee

Monday, April 3, 2017 1:16 PM GMT

One of the top contenders for the NL Cy Young, Noah Syndergaard leads the Mets as MLB odds favorites in their season opener against the Atlanta Braves.

The best the Atlanta Braves can realistically hope for this season is a .500 record and being a fly in some National League team's ointment. Bookmaker established a 74½ win total for the ATL 9, putting them down near the basement of the NL East.

It's a different story for the New York Mets. Armed with an envious starting rotation, New York is expected to contend as 8/1 choices to win the NL pennant and make the playoffs for a third consecutive October.

The old rivals collide in New York to begin the campaign, ESPN's broadcast beginning at 1 PM (ET). The first of 10 series against NL East foes, New York sends big righthander Noah Syndergaard to the mound priced around -180 on the MLB odds. Atlanta counters with Julio Teheran, today's total set at 6½ runs and the 'over' priced a little higher at some shops.

 

Teheran A Mets Killer; Syndergaard Struggles Vs. Braves

If the Braves could play the Mets all the time and have Teheran on the mound, they'd have shorter odds to make the playoffs and end a 3-season drought. But he can't, and Atlanta won't as the club goes through rebuilding with hopes the new ballpark in the suburbs generates some extra cash to spend on free agents. Teheran faced New York four times last year, the Colombian winning twice and taking two no-decisions while limiting the Mets to just three earned runs and a .146 batting average over 30 innings. Both wins came in New York.

My pick to win the NL Cy Young, Syndergaard is looking for his first career dubya vs. the Braves having faced them just three times in his short MLB career. One of the hardest throwers in the majors, the 6-6 Texan only saw them once late last season, and it was arguably his worst start of an otherwise strong campaign as the Braves banged out eight hits and scored five runs before chasing Syndergaard in the top of the fourth on this field.

 

Series Info, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

The rivalry has been fairly level the past four seasons, New York standing 39-37 in that span. The Mets have won 42 of the 73 contests played at Citi Field, but it wasn't much of a home field advantage last season. Both teams, in fact, had trouble beating the other at home with the Braves taking seven of nine in Queens for a 10-9 overall season record. Six of the nine meetings here in 2016 failed to reach the totals.

There is going to be a lot of cloud cover in Flushing, but nothing that should bring rain this afternoon when the thermometer reaches its high point of about 60º about the first pitch with a light SSE breeze (out to left). Home teams fared very well Sunday when all three sides playing on their fields pulled off victories. That perfect day won't be repeated, however, with Atlanta pulling off an upset for my free baseball pick.

 Free MLB Pick: Braves +175Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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