Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets Pick 9/27/19
Atlanta Braves (97-62) vs. New York Mets (83-76)
When: 7 p.m., Friday, September 27
Where: Citi Field, New York
Moneyline: ATL +105/NYM -115 (5Dimes)
Runline: Braves +1.5/Mets -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Dallas Keuchel (8-7, 3.59 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs. Marcus Stroman (9-13, 3.23 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
What Does It All Mean?
That’s the question that both sides are going to be asking themselves going into this one, as they attempt to find meaning in what is basically a pointless contest. The Braves don’t have the ability to move up in any way, shape or form with a win here, as they are locked into a matchup with the NL Central champion as the No. 2 seed, which they know will open in Atlanta. The Mets, meanwhile, are out of the race for the postseason. They don’t have any specific win total that they’ve got to reach in order to hit a certain number that carries some meaning. They can’t finish at .500; they can’t lose 90 games, they just kind of finished in “no-man’s” land.
But there’s still a set of three games to be played before the Mets can call it a year and get ready for 2020. The team that finds a reason to care will likely end up winning.
For New York, the race to take the NL East from Atlanta takes its first steps this weekend. The Mets believe that they’re constructed to win the World Series in 2020 and have their eyes on doing precisely that in 2020. In order to do that, they’re going to have to find a way to stop Atlanta. The Braves have now established themselves as the class of the NL East, and Stroman has the opportunity to create some doubt in Atlanta’s mind for 2020 by leading the Mets to a dominating victory.
That’s exactly what he’s done when facing off with Atlanta during his career. In three meetings against the Braves as both a member of the Mets and Blue Jays, Stroman has a 3-0 record and an ERA of a mere 1.50. A strong showing here would give the Mets a significant psychological boost for 2020 when they have to put all this into practice.
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After the past two outings, Dallas Keuchel needs to get his confidence up for the playoffs, and he’s got the right opponent to do it against. In his past two outings against the Mets, he’s been devastatingly efficient, shutting New York out both times and scattering a combined nine hits in 13 innings of work. He hasn’t looked himself against Philadelphia or San Francisco as of late, but he’s really had the Mets’ number, and this is an excellent chance for him to make sure he’s right before getting ready to face the Cardinals or Brewers.
The biggest thing that the past has brought us to isn’t a specific mark in the standings, but a home run total. Pete Alonso has a chance to become the first Met to ever lead the majors in home runs, which could have him swinging for the fences. Backing Alonso for his quest won’t really do anything to hurt the Mets, as they’ve had little success against Atlanta this season. In 16 meetings, the Braves hold an 11-5 mark.
- The Braves are 5-1 in Keuchel’s past six starts against the NL East.
- The Braves are 5-1 in their past six road games against a right-handed starter.
- The Mets are 5-1 in their past six games after a loss.
- The Mets are 0-4 in their past four home games against a team that’s above .600 on the road.
- The Braves have won five of the past six meetings in New York.
- The under is 5-1-1 in Stroman’s past seven starts.
- The under is 7-1 in Keuchel’s past eight road starts.
Fall has arrived in Queens, with the temperature at 64 degrees at first pitch.
In a game like this, with neither side having anything to play for, you have to look at motivation. Keuchel has a lot of it because he does not want to go into the playoffs riding the stigma of three straight less-than-stellar performances on the hill. Stroman’s got some motivation to get set for 2020 and close the year on a high note, but that’s not nearly as strong as the here and now for Keuchel.
I expect Stroman to have a good night for the Mets, but given that Atlanta has owned New York all year, I don’t see that changing here. Give me Keuchel and the Braves to win a low-scoring game.
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