The first afternoon game of the 2020 MLB season is from New York’s Citi Field on Friday as the Mets welcome the two-time NL East champion Atlanta Braves – and they are favored to win a third straight division title. However, Atlanta is an MLB betting underdog for this one vs. Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
How to Bet Braves at Mets MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 4 PM ET
- Where: Citi Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Mike Soroka/Jacob deGrom
- TV: ESPN
- Stream/gameday audio: ESPN+, https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: Mets -135, Braves +125 (7)
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Braves will not have outfielder Nick Markakis this season as he opted out for family/health reasons. The Braves had multiple positive COVID diagnoses, including first baseman Freddie Freeman. In the end, Markakis didn’t think it was worth it. The 36-year-old returned to the Braves this offseason after signing a one-year, $4 million contract and was likely to see semi-regular at-bats with the addition of the DH. Markakis batted .285/.356/.420 with nine homers and 62 RBI over 116 games last season.
Manager Brian Snitker said Wednesday that Austin Riley will start at third base on Opening Day. Snitker made the announcement after Riley hit two solo home runs for the team’s lone runs in Wednesday’s exhibition loss to the Marlins. The skipper did add that he still plans on giving both Riley and Johan Camargo starts at the hot corner, but Camargo has been battling a minor hamstring issue.
Snitker also said that new addition Matt Adams “kind of fills” the DH spot. Adams was signed to a minor league contract last week after getting released by the Mets and he projects to serve as the Braves’ primary designated hitter against right-handed opponents. Adams launched a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Braves to a 10-9 victory over the Marlins in exhibition action on Tuesday.
It’s Mike Soroka on the mound, and he was second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last year. Soroka will become the youngest Opening Day starter in Braves modern-era history and MLB’s youngest Opening Day starter since Jose Fernandez in 2014. The 22-year-old righty posted an impressive 1.55 ERA in 16 road starts last year. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos has said Atlanta’s starters could go just 2-3 innings or some possibly four innings early on in the season.
With this year’s schedule reduced to 60 games, most starting pitchers will not make more than 12 starts. So there will be a desire to get off to a hot start, like Soroka did last year, when he posted a 1.38 ERA through 10 starts and a 2.12 ERA through 12.
“Going back to that time last year, I didn’t know if I was going to make my next start, in the sense we were all kind of battling for that spot,” Soroka said. “So I think it will be important to put myself back in those shoes and understand the only game that matters is the first one, and then move on from there.”
Why Bet on NY Mets?
The Mets are really thin in the rotation with No. 2 Noah Syndergaard out for the season following Tommy John surgery in March and No. 3 Marcus Stroman landing this week on the 10-day injured list with a left calf tear. The Mets initially indicated that Stroman’s calf injury was a day-to-day situation, but tests revealed the bad news. Stroman will not require surgery to repair the tear, but manager Luis Rojas said the pitcher’s status is now “week-to-week.”
This will be the managerial debut of Rojas after spending 2019 as the Mets’ quality control coach. He spent the previous eight seasons managing at various levels of the Mets’ minor league system. Rojas was named the 23rd manager in club history on January 24, 2020. He is the sixth Dominican-born manager in major league history. His father, Felipe Alou, became the first when he helmed the Montreal Expos from 1992-2001.
Slugger Yoenis Cespedes missed all of last season injured but expects to be the Mets’ designated hitter on Opening Day. Cespedes is coming back from multiple heel surgeries and a fractured left ankle. He’s appeared in just 119 games dating back to the start of the 2017 season.
It’s two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom on the mound. DeGrom threw a side session without incident Tuesday at Citi Field. DeGrom had a minor scare with his back early last week, but he’s felt a lot better since then, recently making a simulated start on Sunday. He’ll likely be limited to around 85 pitches. DeGrom is aiming for his third straight NL Cy Young Award – only two players have ever done that — after posting a 2.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 255/44 K/BB ratio over 204 innings last season.
- Braves are 1-4 in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Braves are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.
- Under is 15-6-1 in the last 22 meetings in New York.
- Mets are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. National League East.
- Mets are 5-1 in their last 6 home games.
Expert PredictionMets 4, Braves 3