A monumental NL East matchup will take us into the weekend as the Atlanta Braves hit the road to face the New York Mets in an Opening Day battle. We’ll see a fantastic pitching matchup as Mike Soroka goes for the Braves and back-to-back Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom toes the rubber for the Mets.
Atlanta owned an 11-8 record over New York last season, eventually going on to win the NL East. This season, there are high expectations once again. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, ATL has NL East-best +215 odds to win the division once again.
Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Citi Field – Flushing Queens, NY – 4:00 p.m. EST (ESPN)
ATL: Mike Soroka – R (13-4, 2.68 ERA/1.11 WHIP last season)
NYM: Jacob deGrom – R (11-8, 2.43 ERA/0.97 WHIP last season)
Odds & Betting Lines (According to DraftKings)
Total: 7.5 runs | Over: -103 | Under: -118
ATL | Moneyline: +125 | Run Line (+1.5): -195
NYM | Moneyline: -143 | Run Line (-1.5): +160
ATL: Johan Camargo (Q), Nick Markakis (O)
NYM: Jed Lowrie (IL)
deGrom Defending Once Again
After winning the Cy Young Award last season, the Mets ace became the 11th pitcher to win the honor in back-to-back years. If he does it for the third time, he’ll join elite company with Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to do it three times in a row.
deGrom vs. Braves
In 21 career starts against Atlanta, deGrom owns a 9-9 record with a 1.97 ERA/0.99 WHIP. Last season wasn’t particularly great for him, going 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA and five homers allowed in four starts. In 86 career starts at Citi Field – the site of today’s game – deGrom has an outstanding 2.21 ERA.
Yoenis Cespedes Returns
For the first time in over two years, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is healthy enough to play baseball. Today, he’ll be the designated hitter landing somewhere around fifth or sixth in the batting order. It’s anyone’s guess how he’ll perform, but if anyone remembers anything about Cespedes it’s that he has a flair for the dramatic. Might not be a bad idea to throw $10-25 on a prop bet that he homers, going simply on adrenaline.
Soroka’s 2019 Road Dominance
The young Canadian right-hander had a great first full year in the Majors, but his ability to pitch on the road was impressive. Soroka went 7-1 with a 1.55 ERA in 16 starts away from the ATL last season. Against the Mets last season, he owned a 2-0 record to go along with a 4.15 ERA in three starts.
Mets Moneyline (-140)
Knowing from friends of mine, Citi Field on Opening Day is the one spot on the calendar that Mets fans look forward to. Not having that raucous crowd there today should fire up some of these players… and if that doesn’t, how about not blowing another one of deGrom’s leads? It will be interesting to see how first-year Mets head coach handles deGrom after he had some minor back issues in an intrasquad game. New York’s bullpen did improve over the offseason with Dellin Betances, and the hope is that Edwin Diaz returns to peak form after a disastrous 2019 season.
It’s worth noting that 59% of all public bets are backing the Braves, while 81% of all money wagered is on the Mets. We’ll take the smart money here and roll with the home team.
Under 7 (-102)
There’s heavy juice (-120) on the total going over seven runs. However, we have two excellent starting pitchers toeing the rubber in a favorable setting for both. There were a pretty good number of runs in the two games last night, so it’s time to see a good old-fashioned pitching duel lead off the weekend. Hopefully, we can a better number at 7.5 on the total once the first pitch rolls around.