New York Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (6/12-6/13)

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Mets look to rebound on a long road trip after a 1-8 home stand. They start their trip with a short two game series in Atlanta against the Braves. The Braves have taken seven of the ten games against the Mets this season. The last series the Mets played in Atlanta started the spiral that led to the poor home stand. The Braves are currently tied for first place with the Washington Nationals.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(6/12, 7:35 PM) Zack Wheeler (2-4, 4.57 ERA) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.31 ERA)

(6/13, 12:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (4-1, 1.57 ERA) vs. Mike Soroka (1-1, 3.68 ERA)

The Streak is Over

The Mets finally broke their eight game losing streak with a 2-0 win against the New York Yankees. The offense has continued to struggle but the combination of Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak shut the Bronx Bombers. The Mets will turn to Wheeler and deGrom to give the Mets an opportunity to comeback in the NL East. deGrom has been terrific all season and Wheeler has found his groove over his last two starts. He held the Chicago Cubs to two runs and shutout the Baltimore Orioles over seven innings.

The Mets made a small overhaul to their roster after Sunday night’s game ended. They released first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and designated Jose Lobaton for assignment. This opened up two roster spots for Dominic Smith and Ty Kelly. Smith will likely have a platoon role with Jay Bruce at first base. Kelly will be the utility guy he has been for his entire career. Kelly and Jose Reyes might see more playing time with Asdrubal Cabrera suffering a hamstring injury during Sunday night’s game.

Booming Braves

The Braves have been one of baseball’s surprises in 2018. They look like true contenders for the NL East crown and can hold their own with the Washington Nationals. Freddie Freeman has returned to his MVP form after it was halted when he was hit in his hand last year. Freeman is tied for the NL lead in Average and leads the NL in OPS. Nick Markakis has also put together a terrific season and is fifth in the NL with a .327 average.

Since June started the Braves are only 4-5 and have their highest ERA of any month this season. Mike Foltynewicz has emerged as the ace the Braves hoped he would become. He is fifth in the NL in ERA and strikeouts and has one of the five complete games thrown in the NL. Dan Winkler has also been dominant out of the Braves bullpen with a 1.03 ERA in 28 appearances. The Braves certainly have plenty of pieces to compete for a playoff spot this season and will be one of the reasons why the Nationals will not run away with the division.

Matchups to Lookout For

Asdrubal Cabrera vs. Mike Foltynewicz: 3-5 (.600) Double, Home Run, Strikeout

Freddie Freeman vs. Zack Wheeler: 7-14 (.500) 2 Doubles, Home Run, 9 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Todd Frazier vs. Mike Foltynewicz: 1-8 (.125) Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Ender Inciarte vs. Jacob deGrom: 5-26 (.192) Double, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Jacob deGrom during day games in his career: 19-8, 1.95 ERA, 268 IP, 293 Strikeouts

Freddie Freeman vs. Left Handed Pitching in 2018: 35-91 (.385) 6 Doubles, 6 Home Runs, 9 Walks, 19 Strikeouts