Why this series against the Mets could go well:
- We're not facing DeGrom or Harvey, the Mets two best pitchers by far. Between the two of them, they've started 6 games, and they have 5 wins. Those guys simply don't like to lose, and they can really keep opposing runners off base with their 1.14 and 1.00 respective WHIPs. I love a cool WHIP stat. (PS - Cool whip)
- The Braves are the only team that's taken a series from the Mets so far. We've got their number where nobody else does, mostly because the rest of NL East so far is sub-par.
- Dillon Gee is imploding this season so far with a 7.59 ERA, and the Braves handed him his only loss. He's due for #2.
- The Braves lineup combined has a .800+ OPS against Jonathan Niese, so he's likely shaking in his boots about facing the likes of Jonny Gomes, who is 6/10 lifetime off him with a bomb.
- Julio Teheran is pitching in Game 3, and the Braves have won all 3 of his starts so far, despite the "issues" in the game in Toronto. And by issues I mean him serving up batting practice covered in maple syrup.
- Nick Markakis is batting .375 right now with 8 runs scored. His OBP is .479, which is 6th overall in MLB. I don't think any of the Braves have ever done that on this roster, but I could be wrong. What I'm certain of is that BJ Upton never led his little league team in OBP.
- The Mets are really injured right now. In fact, their DL is already 8 players deep. The Braves need to take advantage of their lack of depth at certain positions. Sweep the leg. No mercy in this dojo.
- The defense is electric right now for the Braves, and they've turned more double plays than anybody in baseball, while committing the fewest errors. It's been fun to watch. I mean Andrelton Simmons is rivaling Dominique Wilkins as the human highlight reel.
Why this series against the Mets could suck:
- The Game 1-2 pitchers for the Braves are Trevor Cahill and Eric Stults. With their respective ERAs of 15.43 and 6.30, I'm not exactly confident in the back end of the rotation right now. Understatement of the article so far, I'm actually terrified of the back end, but I won't completely panic unless this series goes off the rails.
- The Mets haven't lost a game at home yet. Granted, they played Philly and Miami who are terrible, but they have a lot of confidence inside of the confines of Citi-Field. And who wouldn't have confidence there, playing in front of hundreds of fat, surly, New Yorkers who were too stubborn to be Yankee fans?
- The Braves face Bartolo Colon in one of the games, who just seems to be living a charmed life right now. The man can do no wrong on the mound and he's 3-0 as a result. Plus he can put a hurt on a buffet post-game.
- Andrew McKirahan was suspended from the Braves, which means they are really short on lefty relievers. That means you hope the starters go deep. However, nothing about Cahill or Stults suggests they CAN go deep in a game right now. That means the bullpen depth will get tested, and a guy like Ian Thomas was called up to fill the gaps.
- Our center fielders and second basemen are still hitting like crap, even though we got rid of Dan Uggla and BJ/Melvin. It's as if they cut a huge hitting fart in Turner Field and we can't crack a window.
- Fredi Gonzalez is still the manager, which means the lineups still won't make a ton of sense. Or the pitching changes. Or hell, much of anything he does short of drawing names from a hat. I'm not a hater of Fredi, I just have no idea what/if he's thinking half the time.
So there you have it. Do I know how this series will go? Absolutely not. Does the CPA? Maybe.
The CPA was dead wrong about the Toronto series and as a result is went 0-3. I blame the fact it was interleague and early in the year. Excuses, excuses, you stupid machine. The CPA traditionally struggles with interleague because they don't face each other heads up that often. Still, it's now 4-5 on the season, and it's down -2.45 units.
Game 1: Mets by 2 runs
Game 2: Braves by 3 runs
Game 3: Braves by 1 run
So the CPA thinks the Braves take the series, and if that's the case they will find themselves 1 game back of the lead in the standings. That would be pretty cool to hand the Mets their second series loss, especially in the Big Apple.