After their first series loss of 2018, the New York Mets will head to Suntrust Park to take on the Atlanta Braves. In 2017, the Mets won the season series 12-7 and will have to do the same with the Braves within an arm’s distance of first place. This yearâ€™s Braves team features a lot of young and new players to go along with Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran.
Probable Pitching Matchups:
(4/19 7:35 PM) Matt Harvey (0-1, 4.80) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 1.29)
(4/20, 7:35 PM) Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.95) vs. Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.02)
(4/21, 7:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (2-0, 3.24) vs. Julio Teheran (1-1, 5.40)
(4/22, 1:35 PM) Zack Wheeler (1-1, 2.77) vs. TBA
The Mets sit in first place after what has been a surprising start for most people. What can be a cause for concern is Manager Mickey Callaway has used more relievers in a 16 game span than any manager has before. His move to pull Jacob deGrom with 103 pitches in the eight sparked a comeback for the Nationals, which eventually won them the game. deGrom and Syndergaard are the only two pitchers that can consistently go deep into games and hopefully Callaway will trust his aces more.
The Braves have a very respectable 10-7 record to start the season. The Braves lineup has a real nice punch to it this season, lead by upstarts Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies. The acquisition of Preston Tucker has worked out so far this season as he leads the team with 13 RBIs. Mike Foltynewicz has started to come into his own and Anibal Sanchez has started the season strong with a 1.29 ERA in three games. This team is certainly on its way up after years of losing seasons.
Matt Harvey struggled his last two times out after a dominant first start of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies. With Jason Vargas on his way back, there is no guarantee that Harvey will keep his spot upon his return. The end of Spring Training does not mean pitchers stop earning their turn in the rotation. If a pitcher struggles, there will be someone who is ready to replace him.
Julio Teheran had a rough season in 2017 and still has not rebounded this year. He struggled in his first start against the Nationals, allowing six runs, but put together two quality starts after. The biggest concern is that Teheran has not walked less three batters in any of those starts. His strikeout numbers are good but the walks hurt how deep he can go for the Braves.
Matchups to Lookout For
In a small sample size, Asdrubal Cabrera has hit .556 (5-9) against Sean Newcomb and a lot had to do with the strong 2017 he had batting right handed. In another small sample size matchup, Nick Markakis has hit .333 (3-9) against Noah Syndergaard. All the hits have been singles means Syndergaard has done a good job of not allowing Markakis to drive the ball.
Todd Frazier has struggled against Anibal Sanchez, hitting a measly .063 (1-16) against the veteran right hander. Throughout Matt Harveyâ€™s many phases of his career, his dominance of Freddie Freeman has remained consistent. Freeman is hitting .192 (5-26) against Harvey, but all of his hits have gone for extra bases.
Zack Wheeler has had a lot of success in his career when he has face the Braves. He is 4-2 with a 2.94 in 49 innings against Atlanta. In a larger sample size, Julio Teheran has dominated the Mets since he broke into the big leagues. In 122 innings he has a 2.58 ERA with one shutout against the Mets.