Two NL East rivals do battle in a rubber match, as the Atlanta Braves face the New York Mets. The Mets took the first game by the score of 1-0 and then the Braves won an extra-inning thriller yesterday by the score of 5-3.
Today’s pitching matchup is the southpaw Sean Newcomb for Atlanta while Rick Porcello makes his debut for New York. Both of these guys have interesting storylines attached to tonight’s start, so watching this battle as a standalone game is perfect for MLB.
Early on, we’re seeing more public bets (58%) on the Braves while the Mets have more overall money (67%) wagered on them.
Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Citi Field – Flushing Queens, NY – 7:00 p.m. EST (Watch: ESPN)
ATL: Sean Newcomb – L (6-3, 3.16 ERA/1.32 WHIP last season)
NYM: Rick Porcello – R (14-12, 5.52 ERA/1.39 WHIP last season)
Odds & Betting Lines (DraftKings)
Total: 10 runs | Over: -109 | Under: -112
ATL | Moneyline: -104 | Run Line (-1.5): +145
NYM | Moneyline: -110 | Run Line (+1.5): -175
ATL: Travis D’Arnaud -C (CV), Tyler Flowers -C (CV)
NYM: Jed Lowrie -IF (IL), Brad Brach -RP (IL) Robert Gsellman -RP (IL), Jared Hughes -RP (IL)
Newcomb Back to the ATL Rotation
For the first time in his young career, Newcomb pitched more out of the bullpen in 2019. In fact, only four of his 55 appearances were starts last season – that compared to 49 starts in 50 appearances from 2017-2018. The newly signed Felix Hernandez opting out of the 2020 season is what led to Newcomb’s return to the Braves’ rotation.
Acuna Off to Slow Start
No other player has struck out more times (6) over the first two games than Ronald Acuna, Jr. In fact, he is 1-for-9 with those six strikeouts.
Porcello Back Home
The nearby New Jersey native will make his first career start for one of the two local teams. It would have been a cool moment to have friends and family there but, of course, the coronavirus pandemic had other ideas.
Porcello spent 11 years in the American League with the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, having some great success along with the way. It’s also worth noting that Porcello has done well against Atlanta when rarely facing them, compiling a 3-1 record to go along with a 3.00 ERA.
Mets Bullpen Woes Come Back for a Day
After the bullpen was such a huge part of the Mets’ 1-0 win on Friday, it looked like a second straight day was on the way. However, on a 3-2 count in the top of the ninth with two outs, Marcell Ozuna took an Edwin Diaz fastball the other way for a homer. In the 10th inning, right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland was responsible for the two of the three runs that crossed the plate en route to the loss.
Diaz has been a major disappointment, and the Mets now have a great surplus of arms in the bullpen. I doubt Diaz pitches today because that would make it three appearances in three days. Dellin Betances and Jeurys Familia will likely get the bulk of the backend work tonight, so that’s a huge plus for the Mets.
Mets Moneyline (-110)
As I just mentioned, the best arms in the Mets bullpen are on call tonight and it has to make you feel good that we probably won’t see Diaz. Porcello isn’t the greatest pitcher, but a guy like him will be very motivated to do well for his new team – especially a local one.
The Mets were the seventh-best team in MLB last season at hitting left-handed pitching. That should get them off to a good start tonight and then dig in on the rest of the Braves bullpen.
Pitcher to Record Win: Rick Porcello (+200)
Based on how I see this game playing out, New York would get off to a quick lead and never look back. As we mentioned, Diaz shouldn’t be available to blow this game for Porcello and that’ll allow Betances and Familia to lock it down.
There are some interesting HR props that I don’t mind for guys like Pete Alonso (+325), Yoenis Cespedes (+400), Wilson Ramos (+700) with probably two at-bats against the lefty Newcomb. However, this bet for Porcello seems like more of a sure thing.