The Mets (66-38) return home for their biggest test of the 2022 season as they welcome the second-place Braves (63-42) for five games. The series will run the length of a maxed-out NLDS thanks to the opening week series against Atlanta being postponed due to the MLB lockout. These two teams last played in July, when the Mets took two of three at Truist Park. Back in May, they split four games at Citi Field.
The Mets are coming off winning two out of three against the Nationals to complete a 5-1 road trip, which included a sweep of the Marlins. The Mets actually fell behind early on Monday night before rallying to win 7-3. Josh Bell’s double in the first brought in the game’s first run—it was his last run-scoring hit as a member of the Nationals—but it was a short-lived lead for Washington. The Mets put up three runs in the second on run-scoring singles from Jeff McNeil, Tomás Nido, and Starling Marte, and Pete Alonso’s line drive homer in the third extended the lead to three. The Nationals got two runs in the fourth on a Juan Soto homer—his last in Washington—and a Luis Garcia single. Thing remained close until Francisco Lindor’s three-run dinger extended the game away.
Jacob deGrom made his long-awaited season debut on Tuesday, tossing a pitch in a major league game for the first time in 391 days. He did not disappoint, throwing five innings of one-run ball while striking out six. The offense, however, was its usual inept self in his starts. Once he exited, Lindor hit a home run in the top of the sixth to tie the game up, but Stephen Nogosek surrendered long homers Garcia and to Yadiel Hernandez on back-to-back pitches to make it a 4-1 game. Joey Meneses added a dinger off Yoan López in the eighth for good measure, and the Mets fell by that 5-1 score.
The Mets rebounded to improve to 13-3 in rubber games with a 9-5 victory in a Wednesday matinee. The bats came to play, with Alonso contributing a two-run homer and Daniel Vogelbach hitting a grand slam for his first homer in orange and blue. The Mets ended up building a 9-0 lead heading into the ninth, but new addition Mychal Givens imploded in his first outing as a Met, allowing five earned runs in 2⁄3 of an inning, representing the first earned runs he’s surrendered since June 14 and raising his ERA by a full run in the process. Seth Lugo was able to clean up Givens’ mess to secure the victory for New York.
The Braves enter this series after splitting two games with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park to begin August. They won a laugher 13-1 on Tuesday before falling 3-1 in yesterday’s finale. The Braves have been on a tear since the start of June, going 40-15 since that point, including a 21-6 mark in June and an 18-8 record in July.
The Braves, like the Mets, made some moves for complementary pieces at the deadline, though they snuck a big trade in right before 6:00 PM. They added infielder Ehire Adrianza from the Nationals, outfielder Robbie Grossman from the Tigers, starter Jake Odorizzi from the Astros, and closer Raisel Iglesias from the Angels. The latter is especially big in the wake of trading Will Smith in the Odorizzi deal. Iglesias is having a down year with a 4.04 ERA in 35.2 innings, but he posted a 2.57 ERA last season for Los Angeles and a 2.74 ERA in 2020 for the Reds.
Perhaps their biggest move pre-deadline was signing Austin Riley to a ten-year deal worth $212 million. Riley is having a tremendous season, slashing .300/.360/.599 with 29 homers, a 161 wRC+, and a 4.6 fWAR in 103 games. Unsurprisingly, he has killed the Mets, as is seemingly customary with all Braves. In 41 games and 161 at-bats against New York, he has 14 homers—his most against any club—while hitting .295/.360/.637. Mets fans have over a decade to look forward to more torment from Atlanta’s star third baseman.
Thursday, August 4: Kyle Wright vs. Carlos Carrasco, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Wright (2022): 122.2 IP, 120 K, 36 BB, 11 HR, 2.93 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 3.3 bWAR
Wright is in the middle of a breakout season and enters this game as the National League leader in wins. The 26-year-old has six victories in his last seven starts with a 2.93 ERA, a 3.78 FIP, and a 1.23 WHIP. In his last outing against the Diamondbacks, he went 6.2 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Prior to that, he defeated the Angels by going 6.0 innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. He faced the Mets earlier this season, going 7.0 innings and allowing three earned runs on nine hits back in a loss on May 3.
Carrasco (2022): 111.2 IP, 108 K, 30 BB, 11 HR, 3.79 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 1.31 WHIP, 1.6 bWAR
Carrasco completed a fantastic July with his best outing to date. Against the Marlins, he scattered four hits over 7.2 innings. He struck out seven and walked two while picking up his 100th career victory. In five July starts, he posted a 0.90 ERA, a 2.65 FIP, and a 1.23 WHIP in 30.0 innings. He carries an 18.0 inning scoreless streak into this start after three consecutive shutout performances. It was by far his best month of 2022 after ending June with two disastrous starts against Houston. He had his best start of 2022 against Atlanta back on May 3, tossing 8.0 shutout innings against the Braves.
Friday, August 5: Ian Anderson vs. Taijuan Walker, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Anderson (2022): 101.0 IP, 90 K, 49 BB, 11 HR, 4.99 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 1.51 WHIP, 0.3 bWAR
After finishing seventh in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2020 and fifth in 2021, Anderson is having a down season, though he is coming off one of his better starts. Against Arizona, he allowed just one hit and walked one while striking out nine in 6.0 innings. It was a solid rebound effort after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in 3.0 innings against the Angels. He earned a win against the Mets back on May 4, allowing on earned run on five hits in 5.1 innings, though he did walk four in the start. That is a theme in his starts, as the right-hander has walked an NL-worst 49 batters this year.
Walker (2022): 103.1 IP, 80 K, 28 BB, 7 HR, 2.79 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 2.8 bWAR
Walker saw his streak of consecutive quality starts snapped at eight. In his last outing, he allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. He started out strong, but with a big lead, he faltered late and couldn’t complete six innings, though he was still effective overall. In his last night starts, he owns a 2.38 ERA, a 2.94 FIP, and a 1.02 WHIP in 56.2 innings. He will look to keep it going as he faces Atlanta for the first time this season.
Saturday, August 6: Jake Odorizzi vs. David Peterson, 1:10 p.m. on SNY
Odorizzi (2022): 60.0 IP, 46 K, 17 BB, 5 HR, 3.75 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR
Odorizzi will make his first start as a Brave in one of the two Saturday games, though the order has not yet been determined. Odorizzi was acquired from Houston in exchange for reliever Will Smith. The right-hander, who has been on the Mets’ radar in past seasons, has made 12 starts and has pitched to a 3.75 ERA, which is his best mark since his 2019 All Star campaign. His last start for the Astros was his best of the season, as he shut out the Mariners over seven two-hit innings while striking out eight. Prior to that, he allowed a season-high six earned runs on seven hits in five innings against the Athletics.
Peterson (2022): 73.2 IP, 86 K, 35 BB, 9 HR, 3.54 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR
Peterson will make his first start since being demoted in order to remain stretched out. His last start against the Cubs saw him toss 5.0 innings allowing one unearned run on three hits, with three walks and eight strikeouts. He made two relief outings after he was bumped from the rotation, allowing an earned run in one inning against the Padres and a two-run homer to Gleyber Torres in 1⁄3 of an inning against the Yankees. He made a start in Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday to stay stretched out in anticipation of his Saturday start, allowing one earned run on four hits in 4.1 innings.
Saturday, August 6: Max Fried vs. Max Scherzer, 7:10 p.m. on WPIX
Fried (2022): 132.1 IP, 122 K, 24 BB, 6 HR, 2.58 ERA, 2.47 FIP, 1.07 WHIP, 4.9 bWAR
Fried was an All Star for the first time in his career this season and enters this start with a 0.4 HR/9, which is tops in the National League. He is coming off a tremendous start against the Diamondbacks, shutting Arizona out over 7.0 innings while scattering four hits. He has really become the ace that Atlanta has expected him to become this season and has blossomed into one of the best starters in the National League. The Mets did beat him back on July 11, as he allowed two earned runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and a season-high and uncharacteristic five walks in 5.0 innings. It was his only non-quality start in July.
Scherzer (2022): 88.2 IP, 109 K, 17 BB, 8 HR, 2.13 ERA, 2.64 FIP, 0.93 WHIP, 3.3 bWAR
Scherzer allowed three runs for only the fourth time in 14 starts. Two of those starts, including his last one, came against the Nationals, while two came against the Phillies. In any event, he was good enough to earn a win, putting him three away from 200 for his career. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, with five strikeouts and two walks in 6.2 innings against Washington. He won the battle of the Maxes back on July 11, going 7.0 innings and giving up one earned run on three hits with nine strikeouts.
Sunday, August 7: Spencer Strider vs. Jacob deGrom, 4:10 p.m. on WPIX
Strider (2022): 87.0 IP, 133 K, 32 BB, 5 HR, 2.79 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, 2.6 bWAR
Among NL starting pitchers with at least 80.0 innings under their belt in 2022, Strider’s 13.8 K/9 and 38.3% K% are tops in the league, He also leads all NL starters with a 1.98 FIP. In other words, the right-hander is having a Rookie of the Year-worthy season. After allowing five earned runs in 4.0 innings against Washington on July 17, he has responded with back-to-back quality outings. His last time out, he allowed one earned run on three hits with a career-high 13 strikeouts in 6.2 innings against Philadelphia. Prior to that, he was charged with one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts in 6.0 innings, also against Philadelphia. Against the Mets back on July 12, he allowed one earned run on five hits with eight strikeouts and three walks in 4.1 innings.
deGrom (2022): 5.0 IP, 6 K, 0 BB, 0 HR, 1.80 ERA, 0.72 FIP, 0.60 WHIP, 0.2 bWAR
It was so good seeing deGrom on a major league mound again (shameless plug: I wrote about the experience!) In his first major league start in 391 days, he went 5.0 innings and threw 59 pitches, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out six. His third pitch topped out at 102 miles-per-hour. He was Jacob deGrom alright. More importantly, he felt good after his start and said he would start on regular rest, which happens to be this Sunday start against Atlanta. Fans will collectively hold their breath every time he takes the mound, which we’ve been conditioned to do the past few years. But if deGrom can remain healthy and pitch like the ace he is, his return to the team will be a game-changer. deGrom is expected to max out at six innings and 75 pitches in this start.
Prediction: The Mets take three out of five against Atlanta at home to add a game to their NL East lead.
How will the Mets fare in their five game series against the Braves?
This poll is closed
Five games equals five wins for the Mets!
The Mets take four out of five against Atlanta!
The Mets win three of five to add a game to their lead.
The Mets lose a game by dropping three of five.
The Mets fall in four out of five games but remain in first place.
The Mets are swept out of first place by Atlanta.