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Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets (Game 1)

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Friday, September 17 – 7:10 (SportSouth)
Atlanta Braves (83-64) vs. New York Mets (74-73)

Tommy Hanson
(3.54 ERA, 4.11 xFIP, 2.53 BB/9, 7.89 K/9, 8.8 SwStr%, 40 GB%)
(Career vs. NYM: 4 GS, 2-1, 0.73 ERA, 7 BB, 25 K)
vs.
Jonathon Niese
(3.85 ERA, 3.91 xFIP, 2.96 BB/9, 7.48 K/9, 8.3 SwStr%, 47.7 GB%)
(Career vs. ATL: 4 GS, 1-1, 3.57 ERA, 11 BB, 24 K)

Braves Lineup vs. Niese:
1. Omar Infante: 2-13, 2B, 2 K
2. Jason Heyward: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
3. Martin Prado: 3-10, 2 2B, K
4. Derrek Lee: 2-5, 2B, RBI, 3 BB, 2 K
5. Brian McCann: N/A
6. Matt Diaz: 1-6, RBI, BB, 3 K
7. Alex Gonzalez: 1-3, RBI, K
8. Melky Cabrera: 2-5, 2B, BB, 2 K

Mets vs. Hanson:
David Wright: 1-10, 2B, RBI, 5 K
Luis Castillo: 2-8, BB, 3 K
Josh Thole: 2-8, BB, 2 K
Ike Davis: 1-7, 2B, 3 K
Angel Pagan: 2-7, 3 K
Carlos Beltran: 0-5, BB
Jose Reyes: 2-5, 2B, RBI, 2 K
Ruben Tejada: 0-4

What to Watch:
A better outing from Jonathon Niese. He’s a good pitcher and more than likely won’t give up eight total runs to the Braves again. They can’t rely on another one-hit performance by Tommy Hanson, though Hanson does own the Mets in four career starts. It should be a solid pitcher’s game.

My Take on the Opposition:
Niese is sporting a solid 3.91 xFIP in 161 innings this year, recording a 2.53 K/BB and 8.3 SwStr%. The lefty has a BB/9 of less than three. Niese’s contact percentage is actually a little worse than average, but he plays to it with a ton of fastballs and cutters. He gets grounders at a rate of 47.7%. He has a 3.57 ERA against the Braves in four starts but had a freakish outing against them earlier this season, allowing three earned runs and eight total in 4.2 innings. He will rack up his strikeouts against the Braves.