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Mets vs. Braves MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Max Scherzer Should Dominate in Atlanta (Monday, July 11)

Mets vs. Braves MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Max Scherzer Should Dominate in Atlanta (Monday, July 11) article feature image
Credit:

Joe Puetz/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Scherzer

  • The Braves are short home favorites on Monday against the Mets.
  • Both teams have elite pitchers on the mound as New York will start Max Scherzer while Atlanta counters with Max Fried.
  • Charlie DiSturco breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Mets vs. Braves Odds

Mets Odds +120
Braves Odds -130
Over/Under 7
Time 7:20 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Monday night showcases one of the best pitching matchups of the season as Max Scherzer and the New York Mets open up a three-game series in Atlanta against Max Fried and the Braves.

The Braves have slowly crept up the National League East standings and sit just 1.5 games behind the Mets. They have continued to roll after an incredible June.

Can the red-hot Braves chop down the Mets’ division lead once again, or will Scherzer lead New York to victory on the road?

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Can the Mets Give Scherzer Some Run Support?

Max Scherzer returned from a near two-month stint on the Injured List last week and dazzled. He threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball while striking out 11 batters.

Though it’s only been nine starts, Scherzer has a career-best 27.3% Hard-Hit Rate and ranks in the top 10 percent in both xBA and xwOBA this season. He’s striking out batters over 30 percent of the time and walking fewer than two batters per nine innings.

Scherzer has continued to be one of the best arms in the National League despite being 37 years old. He’s still elite in Chase Rate and is generating over 11 strikeouts per nine.

His expected indicators aren’t too far off from his actual ERA (2.26), too. Scherzer has a 2.66 xERA and 3.03 xFIP.

Scherzer’s only struggle has been with Barrel Rate (8.6%). Though limited, when the opposition has success against the right-hander, it comes via the long ball. Half his earned runs have come from that route.

As for the offense, Scherzer’s return was met with zero run support. The Mets have struggled at the plate since their hot start to the season.  Over the last 30 days, they’re 17th in wRC+, 23rd in wOBA and 26th in BABIP. Despite not striking out much, they are not generating many walks either.

The Mets also struggle significantly more against southpaws, and they draw one of the best in the majors on Monday night in Fried.


Will Fried and the Braves Bats Stay Hot?

Since June, Fried has been one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Through 46 1/3 innings, he has given up just nine runs — a 1.75 ERA — and one home run. The southpaw has chopped down his Walk Rate significantly and ranks in the top 10 percent in Barrel Rate.

Like Scherzer, Fried’s expected indicators aren’t too far off from his 2.52 ERA – his xERA is 2.81 and xFIP is 2.94. He does rank around league average in xBA (.243), but opponents have rarely cashed in when on base.

Fried’s biggest change from last season has been the incorporation of a fifth pitch — changeup — to his arsenal. It’s also been his most effective pitch when it comes to xBA (.213) and xSLG (.299).

As the Braves quickly catch up to the Mets atop the NL East standings, a big reason has been their offense. Over the last 14 days, Atlanta ranks fourth in wRC+ and wOBA and sixth in isolated power.

The Braves have also been boosted in large part to a dominant bullpen. The Braves rank fourth in bullpen ERA (3.10), ranking in the top five in both home runs allowed and walks issued.

It’s also important to note that closer Kenley Jansen remains on the Injured List with an irregular heartbeat.

Mets-Braves Pick

This is a very intriguing matchup and one that will generate a ton of eyes as two of the best teams in the National League meet on Monday night.

While the Mets’ struggles at the plate have allowed for the Braves to sneak up the NL East standings, I think there’s value on New York over the first five.

I don’t trust the New York bullpen — especially with Edwin Diaz’s availability being a question after pitching on back-to-back days — while the Braves have been incredible at maintaining leads late into the game.

However, I think the Mets have the advantage on the mound behind Scherzer. While he’s had issues with Barrel Rate, the 37-year-old has been elite by nearly every other advanced metric.

He has elite swing-and-miss stuff and now draws a Braves offense that strikes out the fourth-most of any team against right-handers. He should quiet Atlanta’s offense and put New York in a position to jump out to an early lead.

I’d back Scherzer and the Mets over the first half of Monday night’s game at plus-money. It’s not everyday you can get a line like this for one of baseball’s elite pitchers.

Pick: Mets F5 Moneyline (+110 on PointsBet | Play to +100)

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