Monday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Braves vs. Mets Betting Preview (July 26)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Pete Alonso
- The Mets are favored over the Braves on Monday night at Citi Field for the first of a doubleheader and five-game set (5:10 p.m. ET).
- New York's offense has finally started to heat up, particularly Pete Alonso, while the Braves are still chugging along with superstar Ronald Acuna Jr.
- Get our Mets vs. Braves pick and preview below.
Braves vs. Mets Odds
|Time||5:10 p.m. ET|
NL East rivals will square off for five-straight games in Queens, starting with a doubleheader on Monday. The second half of the doubleheader is a makeup from May 30.
No team has played more doubleheaders this season than the Mets (10). The next closest team has only played six, and the Braves have played in five.
New York sits steadily atop the NL East standings, four clear of Philadelphia and five up on Atlanta. It is the Braves however, who have the best run differential in the division at +37.
Top Prospect Muller Gets Call for Braves
The Braves will start their No. 5 ranked prospect Kyle Muller (LHP) in Game 1 on Monday. Muller made his MLB debut on June 16 out of the bullpen and has since made four starts. Atlanta has eased him in to things, as he’s averaged just 4 2/3 innings per start but has performed well, with a 2.41 ERA.
The 6-foot-7 left-hander throws his fastball in the upper 90s and added a slider last year that has quickly turned into his best pitch. So far in the big league career he has thrown it 30% of the time for 41.3% whiff rate.
Muller’s first career start came at Citi Field against the Mets and he tossed four innings and didn’t allow a single hit, although he did surrender a run on a wild pitch.
The Braves will have to finish the season without superstar Ronald Acuna Jr., who is out with a torn ACL. The team went out and quickly traded for Joc Pederson from Chicago to fill the void but there is no replacing Acuna.
Even without their star, this is still a capable offense. Since his injury, Atlanta ranks eighth in the league in runs and ninth in wOBA. After a slow start to the year, reigning MVP Freddie Freeman has really stepped up in Acuna’s absence. He is batting .444 with a 1.317 OPS over the last two weeks.
Mets Offense Finally Heating Up
New York will send Marcus Stroman (RHP) to the bump and he is having a terrific season in first full season in Queens. Stroman has a 2.58 ERA and a 3.49 FIP; both would be the best marks of his career.
Through the first month of the season, Stroman had a brilliant 1.86 ERA after five starts. Recently he had a couple shaky efforts while dealing with an injury and the loss of his grandmother, but he bounced back with the best start of the season in his last outing. Stroman allowed just one hit in eight shutout innings against the Reds while striking out seven.
Throwing mostly a sinker (44.4%) as well as a slider, cutter and splitter, Stroman pounds the bottom of the strike zone to produce ground balls. His 52.6% ground ball rate is the sixth best in the league.
Even without shortstop Francisco Lindor, the Mets offense has been clicking on all cylinders. Over the last two weeks they lead the league with a .374 wOBA and 139 wRC+. They have scored at least five runs in five of their last eight games.
New York has hit a league-best 21 home runs in its last 10 games. Nine of those have come off the bats of Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto and they have gotten long balls from 12 different players in 10 games.
Braves vs. Mets Pick
The Mets have played in a league-leading 20 games as part of a doubleheader this season. They are 12-8 in seven-inning contests this year and 8-4 at home. The one safe bet, is that New York will win one of these two games, as they have picked up at least one win in all 10 of their doubleheaders.
I think the Mets have the clear starting pitching advantage with Stroman on the mound and are likely to come away with the win in Game 1. However despite Stroman’s success this season, his advanced stats give me a slight pause. He has a much higher 4.44 xERA and .323 xwOBA compared to his current 2.59 ERA and .265 wOBA.
While I still like him in this spot at home, I am not comfortable laying -155 with him on the mound and would need closer to -140 or better to pull the trigger on the Mets moneyline.
Instead, I will just back the Mets offense who has been red hot lately. New York is averaging 5.67 runs per game since the All-Star break and lead the league in wOBA and wRC+ over the last two weeks.
Muller has looked solid for Atlanta but he is still a rookie and making just his fifth career start. The Mets are already seeing him for the second time in his young career and should make adjustments. I am going to back New York’s team total at over 3.5 runs at +104 and would play it down to -110.
Pick: Game 1, Mets Team Total over 3.5 (+104)