Like lambs to the slaughter, the Braves head to New York to face the Mets on their final road trip of the 2015 season. Barring a 2007-level collapse, the Mets will clinch the NL East sometime this week as their magic number is down to eight. The Braves will try to delay that as much as possible, but likely won't. They've won six games this month, five of them against the lowly Phillies, and are tied with the Phillies for the worst road record in the Majors.
The Braves have used up their quota of wins against first-place teams, so don't expect anything different from the norm. Shelby Miller opens the series against Jon Niese, and so far in September has not pitched like we're used to seeing him, allowing 13 ER in 14 innings. Niese hasn't done much better this month either, but that won't make a hill of beans with the lineup Fredi will be throwing out there.
The Mets opted to skip Jacob deGrom's spot in the rotation and bring Logan Verrett out of the bullpen to start on Tuesday. Small sample size notwithstanding, Verrett has so far shown positive results for the Mets, allowing just two runs in 13 innings. Matt Wisler starts for the Braves.
Williams Perez starts the finale for the Braves on Wednesday against Bartolo Colon. Perez has pitched better in four starts this month (3.80 ERA) than in all of August (8.44 ERA). Granted, two of those starts were against the Phillies, but you take what you can get, right?
Even though the Mets just lost two of three to the Yankees, I wouldn't expect the Braves to have much of a chance (if any). It's hard to believe this team actually swept (!) the Mets back in June.
Monday, September 21, 7:10 p.m. ET
ATL: Shelby Miller
2015: 30 starts, 5-15 W-L, 3.00 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 3.15 BB/9, 7.69 K/9
NYM: Jon Niese
2015: 28 starts, 8-10 W-L, 4.31 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 2.80 BB/9, 5.93 K/9
Tuesday, September 22, 7:10 p.m. ET
ATL: Matt Wisler
2015: 16 starts, 5-8 W-L, 5.63 ERA, 5.32 FIP, 3.75 BB/9, 5.94 K/9
NYM: Logan Verrett
2015: 2 starts, 1-1 W-L, 2.89 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 2.41 BB/9, 6.99 K/9
Wednesday, September 23, 7:10 p.m. ET
ATL: Williams Perez
2015: 18 starts, 6-6 W-L, 5.16 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 4.04 BB/9, 5.85 K/9
NYM: Bartolo Colon
2015: 29 starts, 14-12 W-L, 4.15 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 1.14 BB/9, 6.47 K/9