Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets Preview and Pick

Atlanta Braves (73-70) PK, o/u 8 at New York Mets (81-61), 7:10 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of

After 15 consecutive playoff appearances, the Atlanta Braves are in danger of missing out on post-season play for the second straight season. If they want to avoid that fate, Atlanta has to go on a run, and starting Monday night in the opener of a three-game series with the New York Mets at Shea Stadium might be a good idea.

The Braves have won three of their last four games after taking two of three from the Washington Nationals over the weekend. But they still find themselves 8 games back of the division-leading Mets in the National League’s East Division and 4 games behind the San Diego Padres in the NL wild-card race, with just 19 games to go.

New York has won eight of its last nine games after sweeping a three-game series from the Houston Astros over the weekend. So the Mets now lead the NL East by six games over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies, with 20 games to play.

New York swept three games from the Braves in Atlanta last week. But the Braves lead the season series with the Mets this year eight games to seven, with the o/u going 6-8-1.

Atlanta is 35-34 on the road this season, while New York is 38-30 at home.

Tim Hudson (15-7, 3.47) gets the start for the Braves Monday night against Oliver Perez (13-9, 3.46) for the Mets. Atlanta is 21-9 in Hudson’s starts this year, the o/u 17-11, while New York is 15-10 in Perez’ starts this season, the o/u 11-13.

Hudson has been solid this season, but not lately. The veteran right-hander has allowed 14 ER and 31 baserunners (hits + walks) in just his last 16 IP. In his seven starts vs. the Mets over the last two seasons, Hudson has given up 24 ER and 59 baserunners in 47 IP. The Braves are 4-3 in those starts, the o/u 5-2.

Perez has been flirting with disaster himself as of late. In his last three starts, the lefty has given up just six ER in 18 IP, but he’s walked 15 batters over that span. In his six starts vs. Atlanta this season and last, Perez has allowed 15 ER and 46 baserunners in 40 IP. New York is 4-2 in those starts, the o/u 3-2-1.

The Braves own a .340 team OBP this season, which ranks ninth-best in the majors, and are averaging 5.0 runs per game.

The Mets rank eighth in the league with their .341 team OBP, and are averaging 4.9 RPG.

But bettors might want to check the lineup card prior to Monday’s game. New York 1B Carlos Delgado is out with a hip injury, 3B David Wright is listed as questionable, and the Mets have been known in recent weeks to rest certain key players on occasion.

The Atlanta bullpen has given up eight ER and 33 baserunners over its last 19 IP.

The New York pen has allowed five ER and 22 baserunners in its last 17 1/3 IP.

The o/u is 76-61 in Braves games this year, 65-70 in Mets games, and 31-35 at Shea Stadium, where games are averaging 8.8 RPG.

The Predictem Pick: We like the Braves at -105.