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Mets vs. Braves Odds & Picks: The First Five Innings Bet to Make (Thursday, July 1)

Mets vs. Braves Odds & Picks: The First Five Innings Bet to Make (Thursday, July 1) article feature image

Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob deGrom.

  • Aces will square off in Atlanta on Thursday night when Jacob deGrom faces the Braves' Ian Anderson.
  • deGrom is in the midst of another Cy Young-caliber season, while Anderson is establishing himself atop the Braves' rotation.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup and his best bet below.

Mets vs. Braves Odds

Mets Odds -162
Braves Odds +138
Over/Under 7
Time Thursday, 7:20 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via DraftKings.

The Mets look to rebound from a blowout on Wednesday night with ace Jacob deGrom on the mound to try to right the ship.

New York currently holds a slim two-game lead in the National League East over the Nationals and needs to pick up its level of play after going 5-5 over their last 10 games. The Mets will be hoping that sending the best pitcher in MLB will do the trick.

The Braves are in the middle of a very disappointing season, below .500 as we approach the All-Star break. Atlanta’s starting pitching and bullpen have let it down to this point in the season and really need to improve if the Braves are going to make a run toward the postseason.

Offensive Matchup

New York Mets

The Mets’ lineup is finally starting to get healthy, but they actually haven’t been hitting the ball well as of late. Over the past two weeks, New York has a .202 batting average, .268 wOBA, and 72 wRC+, which is the second-worst mark in the majors. The Mets also haven’t been hitting right-handed pitching very well, with a .300 wOBA and 94 wRC+.

New York also won’t have a good matchup against Anderson with negative run values against every single pitch type in Anderson’s repertoire.

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta’s lineup has been very good against right-handed pitching this season, ranking inside the top 10 in wOBA.

However, the Braves face the best right-handed pitcher in baseball in deGrom. Now, I think the Braves do have a chance of getting a few runs off him because deGrom has been going to his fastball quite often and the Braves are 13th against fastballs. However, the pitch they’ve had the least success against has been sliders, which is deGrom’s main put away pitch.

It’s likely going to be a long night for Atlanta’s lineup.

Starting Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom vs. Ian Anderson

2021 Stats (via FanGraphs)

Mets Starting Pitcher

Jacob deGrom, RHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

deGrom is having the best season of any pitcher in the history of baseball. His ERA to this point is 0.69, which has to be lowest of anyone in the live-ball era. He’s doing most of his damage with his fastball, which is averaging 99.3 mph. deGrom is going to his heater more than he ever has in his career (59.3% per Baseball Savant), and it’s working because opposing hitters have only a .206 wOBA against it. The fastball is also generating over a 30% whiff rate.

The dominance of deGrom’s fastball has also helped out his slider quite a bit. In the 326 times he’s thrown it this season, he’s only allowed eight hits. In fact, deGrom has racked up 58 strikeouts and a 57.3% whiff rate, despite only throwing the slider 31.1% of the time.

For a Braves lineup that has been horrendous against sliders this season (-13.1 weighted slider runs per FanGraphs), it’s going to be a long night.

Braves Starting Pitcher

Ian Anderson, RHP

2021 Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Anderson has taken over as the Braves ace this season and has been really good, posting a 3.88 xERA and 3.23 xFIP.

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. Both pitches though haven’t been that success for him this season, each allowing an xwOBA over .325.

Where Anderson really excels, though, is with his changeup. The pitch has been almost unhittable this season with opponents hitting for a .159 average and .219 wOBA against it this season and it’s produced a 36.8% whiff rate.

The Mets have been struggling versus changeups this season, ranking 23rd in baseball, so Anderson will be able to unleash that pitch tonight with a lot of success.

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Bullpen/Defensive Matchup

The Mets will have the advantage in the later innings and in this matchup because they’ve been one of the best bullpens in baseball. New York has posted a 3.59 ERA and 3.86 xFIP, which both rank second in baseball. The Braves’ bullpen has actually been struggling, posting a 4.77 ERA and 4.47 xFIP.

Mets-Braves Pick

Even though these two are facing each other’s ace, I think that the total for the first five innings is a little too low. Therefore, I am going to back Over 3 runs at -105 for the first five innings (PointsBet).

Pick: First Five Innings Over 3 runs (-105)

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