Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM
Thursday's NL Tip Sheet
Mets at Braves (-120, 10) – 7:20 PM EST
The Mets (61-59) are hoping the clock isn’t striking midnight faster than they think. Following a 15-1 run, New York has dropped three consecutive games, including each of the first two contests of its series against NL East-leading Atlanta (72-50). The Braves are coming off a pair of two-run victories in each of the first two games, including a 6-4 triumph at SunTrust Park on Wednesday.
The two division rivals sat through a lengthy rain delay prior to the Braves grabbing a 1-0 lead in the second inning, an advantage that would last until the seventh inning. New York went in front, 2-1 on a two-run single by J.D. Davis, but that lead was short-lived as the Braves rebounded with five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Atlanta didn’t go the power route in that frame, instead scoring four of the runs on singles to pick up consecutive home wins for the first time since July 4 and 5.
Atlanta seeks the sweep tonight as Julio Teheran (7-7, 3.35 ERA) takes the mound, seeking his first home victory since June 13. The Braves have won six of Teheran’s last eight starts, including an 8-4 win at Miami last Friday as a -145 road favorite. In spite of Teheran not picking up a home victory in his last four starts, the right-hander has allowed four earned runs in this span, but the Braves lost to the Reds and Royals in his past two outings at SunTrust Park.
Teheran is facing the Mets for the fourth time this season as the Braves are 2-1 in the first three starts. Back in mid-April, Teheran defeated Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom as a +145 home underdog, 7-3, as the Braves’ hurler scattered six hits and allowed one run in six innings. deGrom and the Mets picked up revenge in the next matchup at SunTrust Park on June 18 as the Braves were pounded, 10-2 and Teheran lasted four innings while giving up six runs. Teheran didn’t make it through four innings at Citi Field on June 29, but the Braves edged the Mets, 5-4.
Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.20 ERA) makes his third start for the Mets since getting dealt from Toronto in late July. New York has rallied for victory in each of his first two outings as the Mets overcame a 3-1 deficit in a 7-5 triumph at Pittsburgh on July 3 although Stroman didn’t finish the fifth inning. Stroman tossed six innings in his home debut against Washington last Friday and allowed four runs, but the Mets pulled off one of the biggest stunners of the season by rallying for four ninth inning runs in a 7-6 win as a +115 underdog.
The Braves are seeking their third home sweep of the season as Atlanta took three from Chicago in early April and pulled off a four-game sweep of Pittsburgh in mid-June. The Mets are 0-3 this season when trying to avoid a road sweep of three or more games, as New York scored 3, 0, and 2 runs in those defeats.
Giants at Diamondbacks (-148, 9 ½) – 9:40 PM EST
The NL West race is basically over as the Dodgers are on their way to their seventh consecutive division title. However, San Francisco (60-61) and Arizona (61-60) each have ambitions to make the playoffs through the Wild Card route. The Diamondbacks sit 3 ½ games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot in the National League, while the Giants are lurking at 4 ½ games back, but the Brewers, Phillies, and Mets are also fighting it out for a postseason position.
The Giants head out to the desert to begin a crucial nine-game road trip, which continues to Chicago on Tuesday to face the Cubs, followed by a return to the Bay Area to square off with the rival Athletics next weekend in Oakland. San Francisco split a pair of games with Oakland at Oracle Park to finish its homestand at 4-5, capped off by a 9-5 defeat to the A’s on Wednesday. The Giants fell behind 7-0 before rallying for five runs in the eighth inning to make things interesting. Oakland tacked on two runs in the ninth for some breathing room and the victory as Tyler Beede took the loss for San Francisco as the Giants are 0-5 in the right-hander’s last five outings.
Arizona concluded its road trip at 3-3 following a loss in walk-off fashion to Colorado on Wednesday, 7-6. The D-backs captured the first two games at Coors Field against the struggling Rockies and built a 5-2 advantage in the finale, but Colorado tied the game at 5-5 and scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to prevent Arizona’s first road sweep since early June at Toronto.
The D-backs send out rookie Alex Young (4-2, 3.32 ERA), who is coming off losses in his last two starts to the Nationals and Dodgers. Young wasn’t helped out by his offense in those defeats, as Arizona was shut out in each game, while the former TCU standout gave up four runs in 3.1 innings of a 4-0 setback at Los Angeles last Saturday. The southpaw dominated the Giants at Oracle Park in his Major League debut on June 27 in a 5-1 victory as Young struck out five batters in five innings.
The Giants have won eight of their last nine road series openers heading into tonight’s action as Dereck Rodriguez (4-6, 5.32 ERA) makes his first start since August 1. Rodriguez was knocked around by the Phillies in a 10-2 setback as a +145 road underdog, marking only his second away loss of the season. In each of his four road victories, Rodriguez has not lasted past the sixth inning, but he has defeated the Rockies, Padres, and Nationals in the underdog role, while starting against Arizona for the first time this season.
San Francisco has seen success at Chase Field this season by capturing two of three games twice, including a series win in late June. Arizona has lost three of its past four home series openers, as the D-backs have scored three runs or fewer in the three defeats.
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