MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Mets vs. Braves: New York’s Strong Bullpen & Injured Lineup Should Limit Runs (Tuesday, May 18)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tucker Davidson.
- The Mets and Braves continue on Tuesday with the second game of their series between NL East Rivals.
- New York opened as +125 underdogs, despite a 3-1 win over Atlanta last night.
- Mike Vitanza expects both teams to struggle at the plate.
Mets vs. Braves Odds
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
|Odds as Tuesday afternoon via BetMGM.|
The New York Mets earned a 3-1 road victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday in the first game of this series.
The Mets (19-16) were led at the plate by Tomas Nido, who had three hits and scored two of the team’s three runs in the victory. Kevin Pillar, James McCann, and Johneshwy Fargas each also drove in a run.
Meanwhile, the Braves managed just three hits, including a solo home run by Austin Riley, that accounted for their only run in the game.
Will the offenses pick things up Tuesday in a game that will likely be decided by the bullpens or can we expect to see another low-scoring affair?
Injuries to Walker, Pillar Add to New York's Woes
After an injury-plagued start to the season for the Mets, things got even worse. Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker exited with left side tightness in the third inning, while outfielder Kevin Pillar suffered multiple nasal fractures after being hit in the face with a fastball while at the plate.
Thankfully, current reports indicate that Pillar was able to escape the incident without any further damage.
Even before the most recent round of injuries, the Mets were going to have to piece together their pitching here. While Sean Reid-Foley would have made sense had he not pitched 43 pitches, that option is now off the table. That leaves the Mets with two options — a bullpen game or a last-minute call-up.
Either way, we’re looking at a piecemeal situation for the Mets in Atlanta. Since Reid-Foley gave them so much distance after the Walker injury, the rest of the Mets' bullpen is relatively well rested.
When you’re the Mets, a bullpen game is better than it might seem at first glance. In fact, their bullpen has been a strong point for the team this season. Over 117 2/3 innings, they’ve compiled a 2.92 FIP — the best mark in baseball.
Atlanta Giving Ball to Davidson in Latest Contest
Tucker Davidson will make his first start of the season for the Bravesafter being called up from Triple AAA after an injury to Huascar Ynoa. Davidson is a hard-throwing southpaw with a power fastball and an above-average curveball. He has the ability to touch 100 miles per hour with his pitches, but he will likely spend most of the day in the 93-95 mph range.
Davidson has been strong in the minors, compiling a 2-0 record and 2.96 FIP over two outings. He’s averaged seven innings per start, striking out batters out at an impressive 9.0 K/9 clip. Since he’s already stretched out, he’ll likely be given an opportunity to go deep into this one if he can remain effective.
He’ll take on a Mets team that has been near league average against lefties so far, collectively hitting to a .310 wOBA as a team. However, the injuries have left their lineup pretty depleted. New York has scored just one run in back-to-back games, averaging just 3.6 runs per game over their last 10 outings.
The Braves will look for some length from Davidson in this one if they can get it. Their bullpen has struggled so far, with a 4.59 xFIP so far and that's the seventh-worst mark in baseball. However, it should be well rested after having to pitch just three innings in Monday's game.
The level of uncertainty in this game makes this one particularly difficult to handicap. The Mets have a load of injuries on both sides and come in with a piecemeal pitching situation that will have to come together at the last minute.
On the other side, the Braves will be starting a rookie with just 1 2/3 innings of big-league pitching under his belt. They’ll also have to turn to a suspect bullpen if he struggles in what will be his first major league start of the season.
That said, the Mets' lineup is as beaten up as you can get, while the Braves will have the unenviable task of facing off against the bullpen with the lowest FIP in baseball right now.
There is certainly added risk in betting a game like this, but my lean on this is on the under in this matchup. I’m wagering a half unit on this as long as the total stays at 8.5 runs.
Lean: Total Under 8.5 (-110)