Following a rollercoaster of a road trip out West that saw the Atlanta Braves dip into the deepest valley of losing a series to Oakland to reaching the peak of toppling a division leader in their house, the Braves are now coming home to host their bitter divisional rivals in the form of the New York Mets.
Folks, it brings me great pleasure to inform y’all that today, is in fact, Bryce Elder Day. While the Braves somehow conspired to lose to the A’s in his most recent start, it wasn’t because of anything Elder did — Elder finished the start with 7.1 innings pitched, five hits allowed, three walks, five strikeouts and just one run allowed. It’s always great to see your starter for any given game make it into the eighth inning and for Elder, this was rarefied-but-familiar air — this was his first time making it into the eighth inning this season and this was after he became the only Braves pitcher last season to throw a complete game.
The clear hope for the Braves tonight is that Elder can find a way to replicate that performance against what figures to be stiffer competition in the form of the Mets. Elder hasn’t given up more than two runs in his past six starts and he’s at least gotten into the sixth inning in all but one of his 11 starts so far. It doesn’t matter what level of competition Elder has faced at this point, he has just continued to stay consistent and provide solid production on the mound for the Braves in every game where he’s received the ball.
On the other side of things, Carlos Carrasco is getting the start for the Mets and his past two outings have basically been all about digging himself out of a serious hole that he found himself in to start the season. Carrasco stumbled out of the gates in his first three starts and had to take a stint on the IL due to bone chips in his right elbow. He returned late last month and while he got rocked in his first start back from injury, his two most recent starts have been more like what the Mets want to see from him. He’s only given up one run in each of his past two starts while also getting through six innings in each of those starts.
When it comes to the splits, these teams are looking at just about an even matchup — both starters are right-handed and both teams have a 101 wRC+ as a team against righties. The Braves have a slight advantage in both wOBA (.324 to New York’s .313) and Isolated Power (Atlanta’s at .186, the Mets are at .148), but this game may come down to simply cracking the code of a couple of pitchers who have been enigmatic to the point of scaring Statcast half to death. This is a pitching matchup that Statcast will be watching with equal parts horror and disgust but us humans will likely be intrigued to see if Bryce Elder can continue to mystify his opponents and whether or not Carlos Carrasco can continue to find his footing.
The Braves also haven’t won three straight games since May 9. They’ll be coming into this game with a shot at pulling off the trick. Atlanta may not have been on a hot run since April but they’ve done a good job of treading water through what was a particularly tough patch of their schedule. While this upcoming series against the Mets figures to be tough as usual, this could also serves as a chance for the Braves to use their hated rivals from Queens as a springboard towards putting a gap between themselves and the rest of the NL East. There’s no better time than the present to start getting hot and the Braves have a shot to make it happen tonight.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, June 6, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports South, TBS (out-of-market only)
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan