Run Line Pick: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Time: 7:10 PM ET
Where: Citi Field, New York, NY
Listed Pitchers: Julio Teheran (Atl) vs. Jason Vargas (NY)
TV: FS Southeast, SNY
Moneyline: Braves -120/Mets +110
The Braves are chasing a good seed for the upcoming playoffs while the Mets are playing out the string on a lost season. How are we playing Thursday’s series rubber match with our daily free MLB picks?
Thursday’s MLB Betting Line
Thursday’s MLB betting odds opened Atlanta at around -130 for this game, with an over/under of 8 runs. The early betting action then dipped that line about a dime, to around -120
The Braves could also be found getting around +125 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
These teams have split the first two games of this series; Atlanta won Tuesday 7-3, New York won the second game on Wednesday 3-0. The Braves rallied late to cash in as +130 dogs Tuesday, while the Mets won with Jake deGrom at -165.
Wednesday’s loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Braves.
Wednesday’s win makes New York 5-6 over its last 11 games.
At 89-69 overall Atlanta won the NL East this season at odds of 20/1. Also, while the Braves probably won’t catch either the Cubs or Brewers in the battle for the best record in the National League, they lead Colorado by one game for the No. 2 seed, and the home-field advantage for a divisional-round playoff series that comes with it.
Atlanta also played over its season wins over/under, which was 74.
At 74-84 overall New York has been out of playoff contention for quite some time now. The Mets are also going to play under their season wins total of 81.
The Braves lead this season series 13 games to four.
Thursday’s Starting Arms
This pitching match-up is a rematch of games played back on May 3 and May 30; Atlanta won that first meeting 11-0 while New York took the second meeting 4-1.
Lefty Vargas (6-9, 6.25), by our strict standards, is just 3/19 on quality starts this season, but all three came in his last seven starts. Last Thursday he held Washington to two runs and three hits through 5 2/3 innings, and over his previous seven starts, he’s allowed 13 earned runs and 30 hits through 37 2/3 innings. On the season New York is 7-12 with Vargas but 5-1 over his last six starts.
In three starts this season against the Braves Vargas allowed 10 runs and 19 hits through 14 2/3 innings. The Mets went 1-2 in those games.
Teheran (9-8, 4.03) is 15/30 on quality starts this year, and five for his last eight. Last Friday he allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings against Philadelphia, but over his previous four starts, he’s allowed eight runs and 14 hits through 23 1/3 innings. On the season Atlanta is 18-12 with Teheran and 5-1 over his last six starts.
In four starts this year against New York Teheran gave up just five runs and 16 hits through 26 2/3 innings. The Braves went 3-1 in those games.
Vargas may be throwing some decent ball as of late, but we’re giving Teheran and Atlanta our handicapping check-mark for this pitching match-up.
The Braves own a .272/.338/.451 team batting average/OBP/slugging percentage split against left-handed pitching this season.
The Mets own a .240/.318/.407 split against right-handed pitching.
So Atlanta owns the advantage in the splits with the sticks for Thursday.
The Braves bullpen owns a 3.84 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
The New York pen owns a 4.09 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
We’ll give Atlanta a short edge in the comparison of the bullpens, too.
- Unders are 43-33 in games played at Citi Field this year, which are averaging just 7.4 total runs per, fewest among all ML ballparks.
- Unders are 10-7 in Braves-Mets games this season.
Free MLB Picks
Atlanta gets 2.5 stars on our main handicapping factors, it’s dominating this season series, and it needs every last game to clinch that No. 2 seed. Also, after facing deGrom, previous night Braves hitters will be happy to see Vargas. We’re going with Atlanta for our free MLB pick for Thursday, and we’ll chase a price playing against the run line.