Atlanta at NY Mets Baseball Pick & Betting Preview

Posted by Kenny Bell on Wednesday,April 5, 2017 11:23, EST in

The Atlanta Braves made a request of Major League Baseball to start the 2017 regular season with a couple of series on the road because the Braves are still putting the finishing touches on their new ballpark. MLB complied and Atlanta closes a three-game set at the NL East rival New York Mets on Thursday. New York will be a home baseball betting favorite for the game.

Atlanta at NY Mets Baseball Pick & Betting Preview

When: Thursday, April 6, 7:10 p.m. ET
Where: Citi Field, New York
Probable pitchers (away/home): Jamie Garcia/Matt Harvey
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
Radio: Atlanta / New York
Opening MLB Lines: Mets favored by TBA

Why Bet On Atlanta?

The Braves acquired three veteran pitchers this offseason and one of them goes here in lefty Jamie Garcia, formerly of the Cardinals. Garcia, 31, is coming off a down year in which he went 10-13 with a 4.67 ERA. But he has been one of the game’s most underrated starting pitchers when healthy, and he finished last season as healthy as he had finished any season in recent memory. He has had major shoulder, elbow and thoracic outlet surgeries in the past. The Cardinals were deep in starting pitching and didn’t need him, landing three minor-leaguers in return.

Garcia’s regression against right-handed hitters last season signals that his skills might be in decline. He surrendered a .273 batting average and .186 isolated power to them. When the Braves acquired Garcia from the Cardinals, the obvious concern was his health history. The southpaw has made more than 20 starts just three times since 2010 and once over the past five seasons.

Manager Brian Snitker begins his first full season at the helm of the Braves and his 41st in the organization. The Braves went 59-65 after Snitker took over on May 17 last season. They posted a 37-35 mark after the All-Star break and a 20-10 record in the final 30 games (12-2 in the last 14).

Freddie Freeman had a three-hit day in Monday’s Opening Day loss to the Mets. Continuing his usual torture of the Mets, Freeman had a triple and a pair of singles. Thanks to a huge second half, the 27-year-old established new career-highs with 34 homers and a .968 OPS last season. But Freeman and Matt Kemp are about the only offensive threats the Braves have.

Why Bet On NY Mets?

New York has reached the postseason in consecutive years for the second time in team history (also 1999-2000). The club will seek to reach the postseason in three straight years for the first time in team history. The Mets hit a franchise-record 218 home runs last year. That ranked second in the NL and fifth in the majors.

Lucas Duda delivered a bases-clearing double in the 6-0 victory over the Braves on Opening Day. The Mets plated all six of their runs against the Braves bullpen in the bottom of the seventh inning. Duda’s double blew things wide open. The 31-year- old was limited to just 47 games last season due to a back injury while batting just .229/.302/.412 in 172 plate appearances. So Monday was a good sign.

Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for- 5 with an RBI single, a stolen base, and a run scored in Monday’s opener. All three hits were singles. Cabrera finally got the Mets on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning after Wilmer Flores was called safe after a replay review. The veteran shortstop amassed 23 home runs with a career-best .810 OPS over 141 games last season.

The Mets go with Matt Harvey on the mound. He hasn’t pitched a regular-season game since last July 4 as he had season-ending surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome. Harvey’s issue involved muscles in the neck and shoulder impinging a nerve in his right shoulder. One of his ribs was removed. Harvey was just 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts.

Though Harvey finished spring 0-4 with a 5.89 ERA, he quieted rumors of his demise with a six-inning, two-run performance in his final start. Despite mixed results during recent spring action, the right-hander was topping out in the high-90s and had shown his old devastating movement on his breaking pitches.

Atlanta at NY Mets Baseball Pick: Atlanta Braves

Atlanta is good underdog value as Harvey was just 1-2 with a 4.37 ERA against the Braves last year.