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MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Mets vs. Braves: Jacob deGrom vs. Max Fried Should Live Up To The Hype (Thursday, Aug. 18)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Mets vs. Braves: Jacob deGrom vs. Max Fried Should Live Up To The Hype (Thursday, Aug. 18) article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob deGrom and Max Fried.

  • The Mets are slight road favorites in tonight's NL East showdown with the Braves.
  • It's a battle of aces with Jacob deGrom taking the mound for New York against Atlanta's Max Fried.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Mets vs. Braves Odds

Mets Odds -134
Braves Odds +114
Over/Under 6.5 (-122 / +100)
Time 7:20 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Braves have gained a bit of ground on the Mets in the NL East with two wins in three games, but they’re in danger of seeing that progress erased if they can’t pull out a win over Jacob deGrom on Thursday.

With Max Fried going opposite the two-time Cy Young Award winner, might Atlanta have a chance of capturing a crucial third win in four games against New York? Let’s get into it.

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Mets Will Rely on deGrom

The Mets seemed to be in big trouble, until they weren’t. Fans were panicking as the team dropped the first two of a four-game set to Atlanta by a combined score of 18-1, then the offense showed up in a big way on Wednesday in a 9-7 win.

It wasn’t the cleanest of victories with Adam Ottavino giving up a huge homer with a couple of Max Scherzer’s runners on base, and with Trevor May struggling to close it out in the ninth. In the end, though, the bats came up with nine runs and the Mets moved to 4.5 games clear of Atlanta.

May is likely unavailable for this game after throwing 27 pitches, but the rest of the Mets’ bullpen should be able to go. Edwin Diaz threw 10 pitches on three days’ rest, Ottavino had thrown four pitches in the previous four games, and Mychal Givens and Seth Lugo weren’t needed.

With deGrom pitching, the bullpen isn’t usually much of an issue, but it’s worth noting that the Mets could go to Diaz for a long save, and have Lugo and Givens behind him.

DeGrom has now made three starts since coming off the IL, topping out at 76 pitches in each of his last two outings. It remains to be seen if the Mets will ask him to go deeper here, but given the state of the Mets’ playoff odds it would be shocking to see him over-extend himself and risk injury.

In those starts, he’s been tremendous, pitching to a 1.62 ERA with a 50% strikeout rate — yes, you read that right.

Fried Should Step Up For Braves

Fried is normally the guy we wax poetic about whenever he starts for the Braves but he’s clearly not the main attraction on Thursday. The lefty has been pretty great, though, owning a 2.60 ERA and 2.87 xERA through 138 1/3 innings with a low 33% hard-hit rate and very low 3.5% barrel rate.

Fried has hardly been touched this season, but it’s worth noting he did walk five batters in one of his previous outings against the Mets and scattered six hits and a walk the last time he saw them.

Still, he owns a 3.18 ERA in three starts against New York this season with 16 strikeouts in 17 innings. You’ll happily take that against one of the league’s best offenses.

Speaking of offense, it doesn’t get much better than the Braves right now. They’re fourth in wRC+ over the last two weeks with a stellar .204 ISO and a spicy 11.3% barrel rate. Their strikeout rate is north of 22%, though, which is always a tough look against deGrom.

Mets-Braves Pick

The Mets are just 13th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season and in the last week have struck out at an alarming 22.7% rate. While Fried hasn’t been pitching shutout frames against the Mets, he’s been quite solid, and with the way the Mets have cratered in the last week or so it’s easy to see Fried keeping them at bay here at home in a huge game.

The question of how long deGrom will go is a good one, particularly with the way the Mets’ bullpen has struggled recently. Diaz will be available in a save situation, but can Lugo, Ottavino and Givens help it get there?

I really don’t want to involve myself with the Mets’ pen here, and I want to virtually guarantee we bet on deGrom and Fried. With that, I think the under is very much in play. The Mets have been bad against lefties and have been sleepwalking at the plate aside from last night’s game, and Fried should do what he’s done all year against them.

On the other hand, deGrom has been as good as he’s ever been, and we saw on Wednesday with Scherzer it’s hard for even the Braves to scratch across runs with an elite pitcher on the hill.

Pick: First Five Innings Under 3 Runs (-105)

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