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Friday MLB Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Braves vs. Mets: Expect Low-Scoring Affair in NL East Clash (May 28)

Friday MLB Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Braves vs. Mets: Expect Low-Scoring Affair in NL East Clash (May 28) article feature image

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Anderson.

  • Two thriving starters face off in the series opener between the Braves and Mets.
  • Taijuan Walker returns from the injured list, as New York starts against Ian Anderson, a young right-hander who has become the Braves' ace.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down how bettors can find value in the strong pitching matchup.

Braves vs. Mets Odds

Braves Odds -145
Mets Odds +125
Over/Under 6.5
Time Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet

The Braves and Mets meet for a National League East showdown on Friday night, with New York looking to extend its lead atop the division.

It’s been a rocky start for the Braves this season, but they are only 2 1/2 games back of the Mets, so this weekend series could prove important come September. The good news for Atlanta is that it’s sending its ace Ian Anderson to the mound in hopes he can shut down a very weak Mets lineup.

The Mets have been hit by a catastrophic number of injuries but just completed a three game sweep of the lowly Rockies on Friday, giving them momentum coming into this series. New York will send Taijuan Walker to the mound in hopes he can keep his stellar start to 2021 going against the Braves lineup.

Offensive Matchup 

Atlanta Braves

The Braves’ offense has been humming right along this season, ranking sixth in baseball with a .327 wOBA. They’ve had great success against right-handed pitchers, putting up a .326 wOBA and 105 wRC+, both of which rank in the top 10. However, the Braves are going to be without one of their best hitters for an extended period of time, as Marcell Ozuna was placed on the 10-day injured list with dislocated fingers.

Marcell Ozuna (fingers) expected to miss at least 5-6 weeks.

— FantasyLabs MLB (@FantasyLabsMLB) May 26, 2021

It will be an interesting matchup for the Braves’ lineup against Walker, who mainly utilizes a combination of a fastball, slider and sinker. The Braves have been half decent against fastballs and sinkers, ranking in the top half of baseball against both pitches, but struggle against sliders with -4.9 weighted slider runs against them this season.

New York Mets

Boy, the injury bug has hit the Mets hard, with most of their best hitters like Pete Alonso, Micheal Conforto, Jeff McNeil, etc., on the injured list. New York has had to rely on the waiver wire to pick up some experienced bats to hold the offense together for the time being until their main guys return to action.

They’ll have a bad matchup against Anderson because the Mets have negative weighted runs against his top three pitches of fastball, changeup and curveball. Not to mention the Mets are 26th in wOBA against right-handed pitching.

Starting Pitching Matchup

Ian Anderson vs. Taijuan Walker

2021 Stats (via FanGraphs)

Braves Starting Pitcher

Ian Anderson, RHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Anderson has taken over as the Braves ace this season with Mike Soroka on the sidelines. The 22-year-old has been dicing up opposing hitters, posting a 3.89 xERA and 3.27 xFIP through his first nine starts of 2021.

Anderson’s arsenal starts with a really nice fastball that can top out at 96 mph with good downhill movement. He then has a power curve that is a really solid pitch for him.

Where Anderson really excels, though, is with his changeup. The pitch has been almost unhittable so far in his career. He’s allowed only a .198 average and .212 wOBA to opponents this season and produced a 40.4% whiff rate.

An Ian Anderson appreciation tweet. This was a changeup that had 15.6 inches of horizontal break against the Mets' Dominic Smith.

— Chris Harris (@CHarris731) January 25, 2021

The Mets have been struggling versus changeups this season, ranking 25th in baseball, so Anderson will be able to unleash that pitch tonight with a lot of success.

Mets Starting Pitcher

Taijuan Walker, RHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Walker has been a fantastic surprise so far this season for the Mets this season, posting a 2.05 ERA, but, his xERA and xFIP are both around 4.00, so he’s due for some negative regression.

His fastball and slider have been shutting opposing hitters down, as he’s allowed a total of 12 hits combined on both pitches on over 360 pitches this season. However, even both of those pitches are due for some negative regression, because both are allowing a xwOBA over .290 this season.

He’ll have a difficult matchup against the Braves lineup that has been successful against both right-handers and fastballs this season.

Bullpen/Defensive Matchup

The Mets will have the advantage in the later innings tonight and during this series, because they’ve been one of the best bullpens in baseball so far this season. New York has posted a 3.52 ERA and 3.62 xFIP, which both rank second in baseball. The Braves bullpen has actually been struggling, posting a 4.49 ERA and 4.45 xFIP.

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Braves-Mets Pick

Given the injuries to both lineups and the fact that we have two stellar starting pitchers on the mound, I think this game is going to be really low scoring. Even by just glancing at the Mets lineup it’s hard to see where the runs are going to come from against a stellar young pitcher like Anderson.

Since I have 5.86 runs projected for this game, I am going to back Under 6.5 runs at +100 (PointsBet) and would play it up to -110.

Pick: Under 6.5 runs (+100)

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