- The first play of my STP is a 9* on the NY Mets at 7:10 ET.
The Braves were 51-53 in late-July of 2021 but went 37-20 the rest of the way and won the NL East (for the FOURTH straight season) before capturing the franchise's first World Series title since 1995. In stark contrast, the Mets went 22-38 down the stretch to finish in third place at 77-85, 11 1/2 games out of first place. The Mets made the 2015 World Series (lost 4-1 to KC) and made a one-game wild card appearance in 2016, but they've been playoff-less the last five years, Are we headed for a similar scenario in 2022? The Mets got off to a great start this season and were 34-17 through the end of May. As for the Braves, Atlanta was just 23-27, 10 1/2-games behind New York at that time. However, the Braves opened June by winning their first 14 games and ended the month 21-6. The 'battle' for the NL East was "ON!"
The Mets welcomed the Braves to Citi Field Thursday for the first contest of a four-game series owning a 3 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East race. The Mets were 8-3 since the break (had won EIGHT of nine since opening the second half 0-2), while the Braves were 7-4. The Mets took last night's game 6-4 (a top-rated 10* win for me) and will take the field tonight with a 4 1/2-game lead over the Braves. Atlanta's Ian Anderson (9-6, 4.99 ERA) will get the nod for the Braves Friday night, opposed by New York's Taijuan Walker (9-2, 2.79 ERA).
The Braves really like Anderson and why not? He's 4-0 the last two postseasons, posting a 1.28 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Atlanta is 13-7 in Anderson's 20 starts but note his near-5.00 ERA (it was 3.58 in 2021). His WHIP is up from 1.35 to 1.50 and his BAA from .221 to .262. Anderson's month-by-month ERA looks like this;4.66 in April, 4.13 in May, 6.91 in June and 4.01 in July. This is Walker's 10th season but just his second with the Mets. He was only 7-11 (4.47 ERA) last season, meaning he has already surpassed his win total from 2021 here in 2022. With deGrom finally making his 2022 debut this past Tuesday and Scherzer sidelined from May 19 through July 4, Walker has been an important cog in the rotation. He's cut his ERA from 4.47 last season to 2.79 this season, after posting a 238 ERA over his most recent NINE starts. He's 6-0 in that span, with the Mets going 7-2.
I noted the following in taking the Mets in the first contest of this four-game series last night. The Mets have won BOTH series against Atlanta since June 1 plus impressed many (me, for sure), by sweeping the Yankees in a two-game series July 26 and 27. No 'el foldo' for the Mets in 2022. I'll follow up with the Mets again tonight.