Braves prepare for four-game set with the struggling New York Mets

Atlanta just completed an impressive series sweep of the Diamondbacks and now turns their attention to a hated division rival.
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves first home series of the 2024 season had a range of emotions for fans. From starting pitching struggles, to injury news, and late-inning comebacks, this series had it all.

It was expected to be a great series as all six games the Braves and Diamondbacks played in 2023 were exciting. That certainly carried over into this weekend. Spencer Strider started game one and the Diamondbacks were all over him. Strider struggled with command and velocity for four innings and after news broke of elbow soreness for the Atlanta ace, things felt bleak.

In game two of the series, Max Fried had an even rougher time in the first inning than Strider. The Diamondbacks tagged him for six runs and Atlanta found themselves in a huge hole.

There's nothing left to do in those situations but chip away at the lead one run at a time and hope pitching can keep a hold on the deficit. Luckily, the Braves offense is incredibly resilient and unrelenting. They were able to come back and win the first two games of the season, proving why they should be the most feared offense in baseball.

They continued that on Sunday as they completed a series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a hard-fought series but luckily, the Braves came out on top.

Now, Atlanta must turn their attention toward a four-game series with one of their most hated division rivals. The New York Mets have not enjoyed the start of the 2024 season as they are 3-6 after the first full week of the season.

However, as we all know, they like to play the Braves as competitively as possible. It will certainly be an entertaining series to watch.

Braves welcome the New York Mets to Atlanta for divisional matchup

It's going to be an interesting series as the Mets may be struggling but they still have some great players on their roster. However, almost every single bat in their lineup is batting at .250 or under. That's not a recipe for success.

Their pitching staff has suffered from injuries and recently went out to acquire a former Braves ace to fill their need. It should be an interesting matchup.

Probable starters for Braves and Mets

Game one: Julio Teheran (0-0) vs Charlie Morton (1-0, 0.00 ERA), 7:20 PM EST

Teheran used to be the top arm in the Braves rotation but after leaving Atlanta, his career went downhill. He's had stints with the Angels, Tigers, and Brewers but could never recapture his success in Atlanta.

He will return to Atlanta with a division rival and has the unfortunate pleasure of facing the league's hottest offense. Charlie Morton will oppose him and hope to build off a great season debut in chilly Chicago. His curveball still has an incredible spin rate and the command looked great with the fastball. Hopefully, that carries over into this start.

Game two: Adrian Houser (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs Reynaldo Lopez (0-0, 1.50 ERA), 7:20 PM EST

Houser is a former Brewer and was acquired by the Mets during the offseason. He had a great year in 2021 with a 3.22 ERA but normally carries an ERA over four. In 2023, he threw 111.1 innings with a 4.12 ERA including 34 walks and 96 strikeouts. His first start of this season was against the Tigers and he allowed one run on three hits.

Reynaldo Lopez will oppose him in the second game of the series and he will look to be as effective as he was in his Braves debut. Lopez impressed allowing just one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts through six innings. He will need to be a little more careful with the Mets lineup but his first start was encouraging.

Game three: Jose Quintana (0-1, 2.61 ERA) vs TBA, 7:20 PM EST

Quintana hasn't enjoyed his time with the Mets as he was injured for most of 2023. When he did pitch, it was pretty good as he had an ERA of 3.57 through 75.2 innings with 24 walks and 60 strikeouts. Through two starts in 2024, he has allowed three runs on 11 hits with six walks and eight strikeouts.

He would have been opposed by Spencer Strider but fans received devastating news that Strider has an issue with his UCL. He was placed on the 15-day IL and Allan Winans was recalled on Sunday. However, that doesn't mean the team will use him in the start.

Dylan Dodd would also be in line to start this day as well. However, Winans did start against the Mets twice in 2023 so he has some experience there. Atlanta will announce the starter for this game closer to time.

Game four: Luis Severino (0-1, 3.60 ERA) vs Max Fried (0-0, 18.00 ERA), 12:20 PM EST

The series finale against the Braves and Mets could be an exciting one. Luis Severino has been one of the best MLB pitchers at one point but he's struggled with health the last few years. 2023 saw Severino finish with a 6.65 ERA through 89.1 innings with the Yankees. His first Mets start was against the Brewers and he struggled, allowing three runs on eleven hits. However, his most recent start versus the Reds was better with one run allowed on three hits.

He will face Max Fried who will look to get out of the first inning a bit more quickly than his first two starts. Fried almost didn't make it out of the first inning against Arizona this last weekend. They tagged him for six runs in the first inning but he was bailed out by the Atlanta offense. His ERA sits at 18.00 in the early season and the command hasn't been there. Hopefully, he can figure it out during this next start. The team needs him to step with Strider likely missing the entire season.

It has been a strange season for the Braves as they certainly didn't expect to lose Strider two starts into the season or see Max Fried struggle so badly. Luckily, there are bright spots like Chris Sale and Jarred Kelenic and, you know, the entire Braves offense. This should be a fun series regardless.

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