New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves
The New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves conclude their three game opening weekend series at Citi Field as they meet again on Sunday. The Mets are -120 favorites over the Braves with an over/under run total set at 8.
The New York Mets have won the first two games of the year and at two games over .500 this may be better positioning than many thought they would be in all season. On Saturday R. A. Dickey allowed five hits and two runs while striking out three over six innings to get the win and Frank Francisco worked the ninth and despite allowing two hits he picked up his second save in as many games. Lucas Duda homered twice, David Wright had three hits including a solo home run, and Josh Thole and Kirk Niewenhuis each had two hits in the win. For Sunday’s game the Mets give the ball to Jon Niese who went 11-11 in 2011 with a 4.40 ERA while allowing 178 hits and 77 earned runs while striking out 138 over 157.1 innings of work. New York just signed Niese to an extension which shows a belief that he is part of the longer term answer.
The Atlanta Braves are struggling in the early going and just can’t seem to be able to get hits and score runs which isn’t a formula that is going to win too many games. On Saturday Jair Jurrjens didn’t have his best stuff as he allowed seven hits and three runs while striking out three and lasting just 4.1 innings taking the loss. Martin Prado homered and had two RBI’s, Michael Bourn had two hits and scored a run, and Freddie Freeman had two hits as the Braves had seven hits and two runs altogether. For Sunday’s game Atlanta starts Mike Minor who was 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 15 starts last season allowing 93 hits and 38 earned runs while striking out 77 in 82.2 innings of work. If the Braves are going to be competitive this year they will need Minor to step up.
New York is 6-1 against the N.L. East, 2-9 in last 11 Sunday games, and 1-4 in Niese’s last five starts. Atlanta is 1-11 in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record, 0- 8 against the N.L. East, and 9-3 in Minor’s last 12 starts. Atlanta is 1-5 in the last six meetings of these two.
It’s just tough to believe the Mets will start off with three wins but that is what they are in position to do but this one should be low scoring and I look for Atlanta to squeeze out a close one and avoid the sweep.
Atlanta Braves +110 New York Mets