The Atlanta Braves return to SunTrust Park on Tuesday where they will open a brief two-game series against the New York Mets. The Braves just completed a 2-4 road trip but are still in a virtual tie with the Washington Nationals atop the NL East standings with a 37-28 record. The Mets snapped an eight-game losing streak on Sunday and are 7.5 games back.
Atlanta has won 7-of-10 against New York this season. The Mets’ 11-1 start is all but a distant memory as the team has battled multiple injuries and inconsistent play.
The team will look a bit different this time around when the series begins on Tuesday. New York released Adrian Gonzalez following Sunday’s game and promoted Dominic Smith from Triple-A. The team took a flyer on Gonzalez as a place holder this past offseason after he was released by the Braves following the Matt Kemp trade with the Dodgers. Gonzalez hit .237/.299/.373 in 54 games but had slumped badly in June. Smith was hitting .260/.343/.370 with two home runs at Triple-A.
The Mets had been hoping that Yoenis Cespedes would be ready to return from a hip flexor injury that has sidelined him since the middle of May. However, Cespedes suffered a setback in his rehab last week and his timetable is now uncertain.
New York could also be without second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera who left Sunday’s game with hamstring tightness. The team is hopeful that he will avoid a DL stint but his availability against the Braves is in question.
Tuesday, June 12, 7:35 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast, ESPN)
Zach Wheeler (2018: 11 GS, 2-4 W-L, 22.4 K%, 7.9 BB%, 4.57 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 4.03 xFIP)
Georgia native Zack Wheeler will get the nod in the opener for the Mets on Tuesday. Wheeler struggled in May but has turned the corner in June putting together quality starts in two straight outings. Wheeler allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings and struck out five in his last start against the Orioles.
Wheeler has performed well in his career against Atlanta posting a 2.94 ERA in eight starts.
Mike Foltynewicz (2018: 13 GS, 5-4 W-L, 28.7 K%, 10.8 BB%, 2.31 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 3.49 xFIP)
Atlanta will counter with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz who is looking to continue a string of good performances. Foltynewicz has been lights out for Atlanta all season and has allowed a total of four runs over his last six starts. He took a loss in his last start allowing five hits and two runs over five innings against the Padres.
Foltynewicz has allowed two earned runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts this season.
Wednesday, June 13, 12:10 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast, MLB Network)
Jacob deGrom (2018: 13 GS, 4-1 W-L, 33.3 K%, 7.2 BB%, 1.57 ERA, 2.08 FIP, 2.51 xFIP)
Jacob deGrom will get the call in Wednesday’s series finale. DeGrom is off to a dominant start in 2018 posting a 1.57 ERA in 13 starts. He allowed four hits and two earned runs over eight innings in his last outing against the Yankees.
DeGrom has faced Atlanta three times this season 11 hits and one earned run in 18 innings.
Mike Soroka (2018: 3 GS, 1-1 W-L, 21.7 K%, 5.8 BB%, 3.68 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 2.87 xFIP)
Mike Soroka will come off the disabled list on Wednesday and will make his first start since May 12. Soroka spent almost a month on the DL due to shoulder inflammation.
Soroka allowed eight hits and five runs although only one was earned over just 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the Marlins. He limited the Mets to six hits and one run over six innings in his major league debut back on May 1.