NL Baseball Preview: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

NL Baseball Preview:  New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves haven’t been playing especially well lately but due they have been ‘treading water’ with a 5-5 split in their last 10 games. But due to the struggles of the rest of the teams in the NL East that’s enough for them to have opened up a 7.5 game lead atop the division. On Tuesday the Braves will host the New York Mets in a doubleheader that offers interesting betting opportunities in both games.

In the early game Atlanta will start lefthander Alex Wood in his major league debut against Mets’ ace Matt Harvey. Wood is no joke–he’s a product of the University of Georgia and has been killing it in two months as a starter at AA Mississippi where he posted a 1.26 ERA and 57 strikeouts in two months. He’s been used out of the bullpen since being called up to the big club with good but not great results. He’s reportedly going to pitch four or five innings on Tuesday and should be able to handle the Mets less than impressive lineup. New York hits .218 and averages 3.8 runs per game against southpaws.

Unfortunately for Wood his teammates can’t be counted on for much help–the Braves’ bats have grown silent of late and have averaged just 4 runs per game over the past week. Matt Harvey has been solid all season with a 2.04 ERA in 14 starts. He could do better than that against the struggling Braves offense on Tuesday.

In the second game it’ll be the Mets that will showcase a young phenom as Zack Wheeler makes his Major League debut. Wheeler has been tabbed as a ‘can’t miss’ prospect that many say could be even better than the aforementioned Harvey. He’ll do battle with Paul Maholm–another southpaw–but Wheeler is a much better pitcher than the price on this game suggests. Our strategy? We’ll back the Mets in both games–they should at least get the split and if they sweep the twin bill we’ll profit handsomely. The way the Braves’ offense is performing now they’re simply not a team you can lay a big price with and we’ll have a talented young pitcher working for us in both games.