Two N.L. East rivals will square off on Tuesday as the Atlanta Braves (49-51) do battle with the division-leading New York Mets (53-45). The Mets will host this one at Citi Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
The two teams split a doubleheader on Monday as the Braves took the first game, 2-0, and the Mets won the second game, 1-0.
Kyle Muller picked up the win for the Braves in the first game after going five scoreless innings and giving up just four hits, and striking out three.
The second game was a bullpen game for the Mets, but they still had six relievers combine for the shutout. As a staff, they only gave up four hits while Trevor May officially picked up the win.
With the doubleheader on Monday, the game on Tuesday will actually be the third of a five-game series between the two teams.
The Atlanta Braves will send veteran Charlie Morton to the mound on Tuesday. On the season, he is 9-3 with a 3.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and has 130 strikeouts in just 111 innings pitched.
As of late Monday evening, the Mets had still not announced their starter for this game.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Braves have been the stronger of the two teams. They rank 10th in the majors in scoring, averaging 4.78 runs per game (just 4.21 on the road). The Mets rank 27th, averaging 3.94 runs per game.
It is the Mets who have the edge on the defensive side. They rank fourth overall in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 3.81 runs per game (2.62 at home). The Braves rank 14th, allowing 4.40 runs.
Big Series For The Braves As Trade Deadline Looms
At 49-51, the Atlanta Braves find themselves in third place in the N.L. East. Despite the sub-.500 record, they are only five games back of the Mets entering play Tuesday.
Still, with the trade deadline approaching Friday, this series could be a make or break as they evaluate their postseason chances.
It was a huge blow to the Braves’ offense when Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered a season-ending injury. Luckily, Freddie Freeman has really picked it up lately.
On the season, Freeman is now hitting .291/.394/.516 with 23 home runs, 58 runs batted in, and 70 runs scored.
Austin Riley has also been impressive this season. The third baseman is hitting .286/.369/.491 with 17 home runs and 50 runs batted in.
Mets Hope To Create Separation With Division Rival
While the Braves are hoping to claw back into the division race, the Mets are trying to create separation. They still have the Phillies (3.5 games back) that are being pesky, but New York would love to push the Braves even further out of the picture.
Luckily for New York, they have been fantastic at home. While they have struggled on the road to the tune of a 22-29 record, they have been lights out at Citi Field as they are 31-16.
Pete Alonso has been the offensive catalyst for New York. He currently leads the team in both home runs (22) and runs batted in (59) while hitting .259/.336/.506.
One player to keep an eye on in this one is Dominic Smith. In his career against Morton, he is three for nine with a home run and two runs batted in. James McCann and Jonathan Villar have also taken the righty deep in their careers.
Take The Braves To Win On The Road
As good as New York has been at home this season, the Braves have the advantage in this one.
After heavily leaning on the bullpen on Monday, they could be in a bad situation as they try to decide on a starter. On the flip side, Atlanta will turn to a really solid Charlie Morton to try to cut the Braves’ deficit in the division to four.
Take Atlanta to win this one.