Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets
The New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves get their 2012 MLB season’s started as the face off on Thursday at Citi Field. The Mets are -20 favorites over the Braves with an over/under run total set at 7.
The New York Mets have been a train wreck on and off the field and the expectations are low once again this. The biggest news for the Mets this offseason was the departure of Jose Reyes who left in free agency. While New York had several other departures this season will be about who is still with the team like seeing if David Wright can be the superstar he is seen by as some and will Jason Bay get out of a slump that he has been in ever since putting on the blue and orange uniform. Ike Davis and Justin Turner show promise and Josh Thole looks to build on his strong finish to last season. If the Mets are going to do anything they will need to have a big season out of Thursday’s starter, Johan Santana, who looks to get back to form after missing last year. When Santana is healthy he is one of the best on the game but after last year he is more of a question mark. The Mets don’t look to be much of a threat overall this season and we can still see some unloading of talent and payroll as the season moves on.
The Atlanta Braves simply collapsed at the end of last season costing themselves the post season and putting the Cardinals, who wound up winning the World Series, in. The Braves lineup is solid from top to bottom after picking up Michael Bourn last season as a true leadoff man and getting Dan Uggla from the Marlins. Chipper Jones is back for his final season while Freddie Freeman could be the one who takes over for Jones as the Atlanta go to guy. Jason Heyward was disappointing last season as his numbers dropped off but Brian McCann could reach superstar status. Tommy Hanson gets the start in this one and while two years back Hanson seemed to be on the bad end of just about every tough loss and one run game he turned it around last season and showed that he has more than enough stuff to win at the Major League level. The Braves bullpen when rested is one of the best in the game and most believe that it was the over use of setup man Jonny Venters and closer Craig Kimbrel that was their undoing last year. The Braves didn’t add anyone this off season but they look like they have a lineup and batting order good enough to win plenty of games.
New York is 3-9 in their last 12 home games, 2-7 in their last nine home games against a right handed starter, and 1-4 in Santana’s last five starts in game one of a series. Atlanta is 2-7 in their last nine road games, 1-5 in their last six game one of a series, and 8-1 in Hanson’s last eight road starts. New York is 3-7 in Santana’s last 10 starts against Atlanta.
The total in this one is set at seven and while that is probably fairly close look for this to be a quick moving game that goes under. Expect the starters to hand the ball to the bullpen with little damage done.