The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets have ramped it up over the last couple of weeks that has them both well in the mix in the playoffs. The Braves hold command of the season series having won seven out of the first 11 matchups between both teams. It all sets up what should be an intriguing matchup on Thursday night.
Mets hoping to stay hot behind Marcus Stroman
Since the trade deadline, the Mets have been one of the hottest teams that have pushed their way firmly into the wildcard picture behind their strong play as they are just on the outside looking for the postseason picture. Simply put, New York has been one of the league’s hottest teams, having won seven out of their last 10 games that have him just three games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wildcard spot heading into Thursday’s contest. They have had strong production from their core pieces along the way that has made them a legitimate threat to work their way to contend for the playoffs. The team has continued to get strong play from bats. The charge has been led by their strong level of production with rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, who has been one of the most dangerous batters as he’s second in the majors with 38 home runs along with 85 RBI while hitting .258 this season. Alonso may not have impressive numbers this month, hitting .270 with four home runs and eight RBI, but he has been the Mets’ most potent option in the middle of their order.
His play has been particularly important with second baseman Jeff McNeil being out of the lineup due to a mild hamstring strain that has him on the 10-day injury list. His absence has put the team without one of their primary offensive weapons, but the team has received strong production elsewhere. It has seen outfielder Michael Conforto, who is batting .296 with nine home runs and 23 RBI since the All-Star break. His strong play has been key to steadying the Mets’ offense to help them stay on this hot stretch. However, the most important factor in Thursday’s contest will be their play on the mound with the recently acquired right-hander Marcus Stroman on the mound. Stroman has struggled a bit in his first two outings with the team as he holds a 6.10 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, five walks, and 16 hits in just 10.1 innings pitched. If New York hopes to push past the stacked Braves, it will need Stroman to put in a strong performance together on the road.
Braves pacing their way to the playoffs
The Braves have continued to move toward a comfortable lead in the NL East that has pushed them in the direction of cruising toward the playoffs. Their grip hold on the division has never truly been challenged up through this point in the campaign as they have been on a steady path toward the postseason behind the strong play of their core group. Atlanta currently holds a six-game lead over the Washington Nationals heading into Thursday’s game. They have also won their last three straight games, including six out of their last 10 contests overall. His steady play has come throughout the roster led by star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who has completely topped his stellar rookie campaign with an even greater second year that has put him on the map as one of the top young players in the majors.
Acuna Jr. is currently batting .298 with 34 home runs, 82 RBI, 101 runs scored, 28 stolen bases, and a .918 OPS. It has been a pace that could see him potentially pushing his way into an exclusive statistical category, joining the 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season club. He has been a game-changing talent that has set forth a bright future ahead of the franchise. Meanwhile, second baseman Ozzie Albies has continued to torch it in the month of August as he’s batting .415 with three home runs, seven RBI and 13 runs in 53 at-bats over that span. Albies has been another bright spot for the franchise, both at the plate and on the field. The combined production from Acuna Jr. and Albies should be more than enough to carry them offensively. The Braves will also be turning to right-hander Julio Teheran, who holds a 7-7 record with a 3.35 ERA and a .222 opposing batting average in his first 25 starts this season. Teheran has picked up his play in his last eight outings giving up two or fewer runs seven times during that stretch. With the veteran right-hander playing well and the Braves’ bats continuing to hit up, it trends things in their direction for Thursday’s matchup.
- Braves are 6-2 in Teheran’s last eight starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
- Braves are 6-2 in Teheran’s last eight starts.
- Braves are 6-2 in Teheran’s last eight starts on grass.
- Mets are 8-20 in their last 28 road games against a team with a winning record.