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MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets (Friday, Sept. 18)

MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets (Friday, Sept. 18) article feature image

Hunter Martin, Getty Images. Pictured: Steven Matz

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets Betting Odds

Braves Odds -162 [Bet Now]
Mets Odds +138 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 8.5 (-108/-113) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 7:10 p.m. ET

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Those pesky Mets got me again as they came up with four runs in the ninth inning to sink my ticket — and the Philadelphia Phillies — last night. The Mets are now just a game-and-a-half behind the Phillies for the final Wild Card spot in the National League.

This is almost like déjà vu. Last season, the Mets were one of the hottest teams down the stretch but fell short and missed the playoffs, as they often do.

Tonight, they’ll face Braves left-hander Max Fried, who returns from a recent spell on the injured list. Opposing Fried will be Steve Matz, who is back in the rotation after being jettisoned to the bullpen due to poor performance. Matz’s last start was over a month ago and he’s basically been hidden in the Mets bullpen because he’s only made one appearance since his demotion.

This start is simply out of necessity because the Mets are running out of able-bodied pitchers and don’t have much else to turn to.

Put it all together and that sounds like a recipe for a fade in my book.

New York Mets

The numbers aren’t pretty for Steve Matz. He’s 0-4 with an 8.63 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Alright, maybe his 6.74 FIP suggests he’s been a bit unlucky, but it’s still far from good. His biggest problem has been the long ball as evidenced by his 3.38 HR/9 ratio.

To understand how poor Matz has been this season, his 0.89 GB/FB (groundball to flyball) ratio is by far the lowest number of his six-year career with the Mets.

With numbers like that, there’s really no reason to dig any further into his advanced stats. Matz has been bad this season and that’s all there is to say about that.

If there is something for Mets fans to cling to going into tonight’s ballgame, it’s his overall record against the Braves which is 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA in 14 starts. Matz even made his first start this season against the Braves and pitched relatively well as he went six innings on one-run ball before the Mets would lose in extra innings.

Against Matz, this Braves lineup is only hitting .215 with a .279 wOBA and .331 SLG. And in their 172 at-bats, he’s only surrendered two home runs.

The Braves have actually struggled vs. lefties this season as their .233 AVG is .34 points lower than when they’re facing right-handers. Their OBP is also .51 points lower and their slugging percentage takes the biggest hit as it drops from .503 to .386 against left-handers.

So, if you’re looking to back Matz, those are numbers you’d hope that you can hang your hat on.

[Check out our updated MLB Odds page to shop for the best number on every game.]

Atlanta Braves

Max Fried has been almost unhittable this season. He’s 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Even his 2.52 FIP is pretty healthy considering he’s allowing three walks per nine innings. What’s been remarkable about Fried is that after nine starts and 50 innings, he’s still yet to surrender a home run.

Fried has been so good throughout his career that his 2.09 GB/FB this season is actually his lowest output in four years in the big leagues. Even if you discount the first two seasons where he didn’t pitch more than 33 innings, he pitched 165.2 innings last year and had a 2.41 GB/FB ratio.

If you’re looking to back Fried tonight then you’re saying to yourself that his last start, during which he gave up three earned runs for the first time this season, was an anomaly and that he likely wasn’t at full-strength. After all, he went on the IL promptly after that outing. The Braves were a perfect 8-0 in all of his starts before then and 8-1 still isn’t too shabby either.

Fried has made seven starts against the Mets and he’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA. New York’s current lineup has had success against him as they have a .275 AVG with a .347 OBP and .394 SLG in 109 at-bats.

I guess when your moniker was once the Miracle Mets, you always have a chance.

Betting Analysis

I couldn’t tell you what Matz has been doing over the last month when he was demoted to the bullpen. Did the Mets do some things for him to try to build up his confidence? Was he trying different things during his side sessions?

All I know is that the Mets are 0-6 when he was on the mound this year and now he’s put back in a pressure situation because they don’t have any other pitchers they can hand the ball to. I’ve got to see it to believe it with Steven Matz and it’s not like he’s going up against some tomato can in the other dugout.

Fried will look to be sharp in this outing as he stands to be the Braves Game 1 starter as soon as the playoffs begin.

This one might be a little too much for Matz and the Mets to overcome.

Since I’m fading Matz, I’ll look to take him out in the first five innings (F5). I’m always looking to limit my juice so I’ll roll the dice and play the runline instead of the moneyline in this one.

BetMGM  has a good run line price at -112 and I’m willing to risk half-a-unit of my bankroll that the Braves will have the lead after five innings in tonight’s ballgame.

The Bet: Atlanta Braves -0.5 Runs F5 Innings (Up to -125)

[Bet the Braves at BetMGM and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

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