Mets vs. Braves MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Here’s How To Back Max Scherzer (Wednesday, August 17)

Mets vs. Braves MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Here’s How To Back Max Scherzer (Wednesday, August 17) article feature image

Adam Hunger/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Scherzer.

  • Max Scherzer has the Mets (-150) favored in an NL East matchup in Atlanta.
  • Jake Odorizzi will start for the Braves, having struggling since being acquired from Houston.
  • Charlie DiSturco breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Mets vs. Braves Odds

Mets Odds-145
Braves Odds+120
Over/Under7.5 (-105/-115)
Time7:20 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The injury bug has stung the New York Mets in their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves, losing both Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker in the first two games. The Braves rolled against the Mets middle relief.

But Wednesday night provides a bounce back opportunity for New York, who holds a 3.5-game lead in the National League East over Atlanta. They hand the ball to Max Scherzer who has been nothing short of incredible since signing in the Big Apple.

The Braves will match with Jake Odorizzi, a veteran right-hander who has yet to finish five full innings with Atlanta since being acquired at the deadline.

Can Atlanta continue to cut away at the Mets' NL East lead, or will New York stifle the Braves bats behind one of MLB's elite in Scherzer?

Scherzer Thriving as Mets Ace

Max Scherzer has aged like fine wine since signing his two-year deal with the Mets. In his age-38 season, the right-hander has a 1.93 ERA across 16 starts and has given up two or fewer earned runs in every start since May 8 against the Phillies.

Scherzer ranks in the top 10 percent of all pitchers in both strikeout and walk rate, and his hard-hit rate is 31.5% — the lowest since his Cy Young season in 2017.

Opponents have a .201 xBA against Scherzer, who continues to shine atop the Mets rotation that has become hobbled in recent days. He's thriving inside a pitcher-friendly park, yet still manages a 2.16 road ERA.

Scherzer's only glaring issue is his 9.2 barrel rate, which ranks in the bottom 20 percent of MLB. But given his elite strikeout rate and ability to command the zone and consistently generate whiffs, Scherzer has consistently escaped any danger.

Scherzer has faced the Braves twice this season and has given up just one run on seven hits across 14 innings. He's struck out 20 batters and surrendered zero walks.

As for the bullpen, given the last two games, New York's high-leverage arms are all available.

Offensively, despite generating just nine runs over the last five games, the Mets still rank seventh in wRC+ and eighth in wOBA in the last two weeks. They have crushed right-handed pitching in 2022 and draw a favorable matchup on Wednesday night.

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Finding Way To Fade Odorizzi

If there's one player I've targeted and consistently faded in 2022, it's been Jake Odorizzi.

Since being traded to the Atlanta Braves, the right-hander has made two starts, giving up five runs — four earned — over 8 2/3 innings. But he's given up 18 baserunners in that time, fortunate to consistently escape danger.

But the thing about Odorizzi is he's not a strikeout pitcher and he relies on balls being put in play — which will come back to bite if the bases are constantly filled.

Opponents have a .255 xBA against the right-hander and he ranks in the bottom 20 percent in both strikeout and whiff rate. His xFIP also sits nearly a run higher than his ERA at 3.80.

To me, Odorizzi is a ticking time bomb. The Braves have done a good job at managing the 32-year-old and using a short leash. But even in his Atlanta debut against the Mets nearly two weeks ago, Odorizzi never threw a clean inning in a game that could've been a lot worse.

Like the Mets, given the game script of the previous two games, the Braves should have their high-leverage arms available on Wednesday night. Raisel Iglesias and AJ Minter both threw a scoreless inning of relief last night, but neither were overworked to the point of a day off.

The Braves offense remains a scary engine, too. They are top five in isolated power, wRC+ and wOBA over the last two weeks as they gear up for a run at the National League East crown.

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Mets-Braves Pick

I snagged this game right at open as the Mets were -130 favorites against Atlanta. That number has since jumped up, but I still like New York as road favorites here at -150.

I would lean to the over as well if it weren't for both bullpens having all of their high-leverage arms available, but do think this is the perfect time for a bounce back Mets victory.

Scherzer has proven to step up in big games and has already seen Atlanta twice, dominating both times. The same can't be said for Odorizzi, who has some alarming advanced metrics that I can't get behind.

I think the Mets offense should be able to cause trouble once again as they meet Odorizzi for the second time in two weeks. This time, though, I'd expect an even shorter outing for the 32-year-old.

Back Scherzer and the Mets offense to get the job done at Truist Park.

Pick: Mets ML (-150)

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