Last Updated Aug 07, 2022, 10:47 AM

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Carlos Carrasco
(Getty Images)

The top two teams in the NL East will clash, as the Atlanta Braves head to the New York Mets on Thursday night in the first of a pivotal five-game set. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field. Coverage will be on each team’s regional sports channel as well as MLB.TV.   

This will be a pitching duel between a pair of right-handed aces. Kyle Wright will take the mound for the Braves. Carlos Carrasco is the starting pitcher for the Mets. Wright is 13-4 with an ERA of 2.93. Carrasco has an 11-4 record, and his ERA is 3.79. 

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Heading into Thursday night's matchup, the Mets led the defending World Series champion Braves by 3.5 games in the NL East. 

The Braves have won four of their last five games. Their four-game winning streak was snapped with a 3-1 defeat vs. the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves split that two-game series. The first contest was a 13-1 rout. 

The Mets are also 4-1 in their last five contests. The Mets most recently took two out of three on the road at the division rival Washington Nationals

Wright has allowed 105 hits, 11 home runs, and 36 walks along with throwing 120 strikeouts in 122.2 innings. The Braves are 5-0 in Wright’s last five outings. In Wright’s last game vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 29, he gave up two earned runs and five hits with five strikeouts in 6.2 innings. 

Carrasco has given up 116 hits, 11 home runs, and 30 walks, plus racking up 108 strikeouts in 111.2 innings. The Mets have won five consecutive games with Carrasco on the mound. In Carrasco’s most recent outing at the division rival Miami Marlins on July 30, he allowed no earned runs and four hits, plus seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings. 

Prior to the action on Aug. 3, the Braves ranked second in home runs (161), third in slugging percentage (.442), fourth in RBI (474), 10th in batting average (.249) and 17th in on-base percentage (.313). Third baseman Austin Riley leads the Braves in home runs (29), RBI (68), and on-base percentage (.360). Shortstop Dansby Swanson is tops on the Braves in batting average (.300) and hits (121). First baseman Matt Olson is second on the Braves in home runs (21) and RBI (67). 

Before the contests on Aug. 3, the Mets ranked fourth in on-base percentage (.327), fifth in batting average (.256), sixth in RBI (460), 12th in slugging percentage (.404), and 16th in home runs (104). First baseman Pete Alonso leads the Mets in home runs (28) and RBI (88). Second baseman Jeff McNeil has a team-best .302 batting average. Left fielder Mark Canha is tops in on-base percentage (.366). Right fielder Starling Marte has the most hits (106). 

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The Mets are favored by 1.5 runs vs. the Braves. The over/under is set for 8.0 runs. 

Prior to the series, the Braves were 52-52 against the spread overall and 26-20 against the spread on the road. For over/under, the Braves were 51-49-4 overall and 23-21-2 on the road. 

Before the division matchup, the Mets were 55-48 against the spread overall and 23-25 against the spread at home. In terms of over/under, the Mets were 52-46-5 overall and 26-20-2 at home. 

Figure on the under in this dynamic pitching battle. The Braves should cover the spread and earn a tight victory in the series opener. 

Written by Rolando Rosa, our US sports betting industry expert. 

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