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Braves vs. Mets Odds, Pick & Preview: Can Max Fried Cool Down Red-Hot Division Rival? (May 2)

Braves vs. Mets Odds, Pick & Preview: Can Max Fried Cool Down Red-Hot Division Rival? (May 2) article feature image
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Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Pete Alonso and Eduardo Escobar

  • The Braves and Mets begin a big NL East rivalry series on Monday night.
  • Max Fried takes the mound for Atlanta opposed by New York's Chris Bassitt.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Braves vs. Mets Odds

Braves Odds -102
Mets Odds -116
Over/Under 6.5 (-114 / -106)
Time 7:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Mets continue to roll, taking two of three against division rival Philadelphia over the weekend, and will try to assert themselves in the NL East yet again against the Atlanta Braves.

With a star-studded pitching matchup, how much is really between these two teams? Let’s get into this matchup below.

Braves Searching For Positivity

The Braves appeared to be building some meaningful momentum after a series win over the Cubs and a win over the Rangers on Friday, but two straight losses to end the weekend with just four runs have shut down any sort of positive momentum.

Atlanta ranks just 16th in wRC+ to this point and has scored just 3.87 runs per game, which ranks 20th. It sure doesn’t seem like offense is coming easy at the moment, but that could be changing soon.

The Braves currently sit second in the major leagues with a .359 xwOBA and their .268 xBA clashes with their season .229 average. That’s what happens when you rank third in barrels per plate appearance and have some of the biggest hitters in the game.

With these kinds of numbers and the re-installation of Ronald Acuna Jr., things should be looking up for the defending champions.

Max Fried is the starting pitcher here for Atlanta, and that’s great news. He’s walked just one batter in 24 innings, pitching to a 3.00 ERA with a 2.94 xERA. The lefty has been pretty much unhittable since his brutal start against the Reds to begin the season where he allowed five runs over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just three in his last three outings.

Mets Hoping To Keep Rolling

It’s now seven straight series wins for the New York Mets after they survived a rare bad outing from Max Scherzer on Sunday night and took the rubber match against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets have now won 69.6% of their games, the second-best mark in the bigs, and have put up nearly five runs per game. It seems like nothing can stop them.

The only issue here is that the underlying numbers would seem to indicate the Mets aren’t this good on offense. They’ve managed to get by with expertly-placed contact, often times beating the shift with ground balls and flares. The Mets rank second-to-last in the big leagues with a 33.6% hard-hit rate and 25th in barrel rate. They’ve hit just 18 home runs — which ranks 19th.

While this is effective in the short term, teams will begin to adjust as spray charts fill up with more data. The Mets will likely win plenty more games by walking a lot and limiting strikeouts with contact, but this strategy likely won’t help them maintain a top-five or top-10 level offensively.

Chris Bassitt will start this one for New York, and while he’s been very effective, regression should soon set in. His strikeout rate is solid at 28%, but a .380 xwOBA on contact is his worst since 2016 and his 36.2% hard-hit rate checks in worse than league average. His xERA of 3.18 accurately represents that he’s only been slightly above average, a little off the elite pace he appears to be on.

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Braves-Mets Pick

I’m convinced a slight level dip is coming for the Mets any day now, particularly in a matchup like this where they have to find a way through one of the best starters in the game.

This is a story of two teams on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to expected statistics and exit velocity, and as much as it pains me to say as an old baseball soul, a team like the Braves is built to win many more games than the Mets. That’s now particularly true with one of the best hitters in the game back in the lineup for Atlanta.

Pick: Braves ML (-102)

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