The Atlanta Braves struck first against their NL East rivals the New York Mets in a rain-soaked win on Friday night, and now the two teams will have to again battle in the elements in a scheduled matinee from Citi Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. Atlanta will send Spencer Strider (3-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound, while the Mets counter with Tylor Megill (3-1, 3.96).
The Braves are currently -170 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Mets are +145 underdogs. The run total is set at 7.5.
Braves-Mets picks: Saturday, April 29
Day-to-day: RP Joe Jimenez (paternity)
Out: RP Lucas Luetge (biceps), SS Orlando Arcia (wrist), C Travis d’Arnaud (concussion), RP Raisel Iglesias (shoulder), SP Kolby Allard (oblique), RP Tyler Matzek (elbow), SP Huascar Ynoa (elbow)
Out: SP Justin Verlander (right teres major strain), RP Edwin Uceta (left ankle sprain), C Omar Narvaez (left calf strain), RP Stephen Nogosek (eight elbow bone bruise), SP Carlos Carrasco (right elbow inflammation), SP Elieser Hernandez (right shoulder strain), OF Tim Locastro (back spasms)
Spencer Strider vs. Tylor Megill
Strider has looked downright unhittable so far this season — almost literally last time out against the Miami Marlins, in which he took a perfect game into the seventh. The righty only throws two pitches, but when those two pitches are fastball that averages 98 mph and a slider with a whiff rate north of 50 percent, that’s really all you need. Strider has struggled against the Mets in his short career, though, with a 4.30 ERA over five appearances and three starts.
After a strong start to the year, Megill has come back to Earth hard recently, with seven runs on 13 hits allowed over his last two outings. The righty was due for some regression, as both his fastball and slider have expected slugging percentages far higher than their actual numbers — and, more disconcertingly, his velocity is down across the board. Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer can’t return soon enough.
I realize that Strider has been on another planet recently, but if anyone can get to him it’s a Mets team that has stars who’ve faced him plenty of times before — while Megill isn’t likely to be able to keep the Braves’ loaded offense in check.
Pick: Over 7.5
Megill seems to be trending in the wrong direction lately, both from a stuff and results perspective, and it’s just awfully hard to pick against Strider even in this matchup.