After securing another series win, the Atlanta Braves will continue their homestand on Monday when the New York Mets arrive for a three-game series. The Braves took three of four from the Mets and outscored them 40-10 in the prior series between these two teams in New York last weekend. Atlanta is 80-43 on the season and are 8-2 against the Mets at this point, doing their part to kick their division rival towards the cellar of the NL East. They are 5-1 on their current homestand where they swept the Yankees before taking two of three from the Giants.
The Braves are dealing with a few nagging injuries to a couple of their key players. Ozzie Albies is currently on the Injured List with a strained hamstring, but has been working out on the field during pregame and should be ready to return when he is eligible to be activated. Michael Harris II was scratched from Sunday’s lineup after fouling a ball off his foot in Saturday’s game. X-rays were negative and he said that he plans to be back in the lineup Monday.
After a dreadful showing against the Braves on their previous homestand, the Mets have played well of late. They took two of three from Pittsburgh to end their homestand and then three of four from the Cardinals in St. Louis. Pete Alonso was 1-for-11 in the four games against the Braves in New York. He’s 6-for-26 with four home runs over his last seven games.
Monday, August 21, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
David Peterson (20 G, 14 GS, 72.2 IP, 24.2 K%, 11.0 BB%, 56.3 GB%, 5.45 ERA, 4.71 FIP)
The Mets will go with left-hander David Peterson in the opener. New York was counting on Peterson to provide depth for their rotation, but the season has essentially been a disaster as he has struggled while bouncing back and forth from Triple-A. Peterson has appeared in 20 games (14 starts) and has a 5.45 ERA and a 4.71 FIP in 72 2/3 innings. The hopeful can point to his 3.78 xFIP and suggest that he’s really just hit the motherlode of awful luck in all respects, but that’s not going to be any consolation to a Mets team that’s essentially already finished imploding. He rejoined the Mets’ rotation after the Trade Deadline and has struggled in three starts where he hasn’t made it past the fourth inning, and to be clear, those three starts do not have good peripherals. Peterson allowed just three hits and one run in his last start against the Pirates, but walked six and threw 91 pitches while completing just 3 2/3 innings. Peterson faced the Braves in April and had a 6/1 K/BB ratio in five innings, but gave up a homer and was charged with four runs while his team was held scoreless.
Allan Winans (2 GS, 11.1 IP, 30.4 K%, 6.5 BB%, 57.1 GB%, 1.59 ERA, 1.85 FIP)
Brian Snitker confirmed after Sunday’s game that Allan Winans will make his third career start in Monday’s opener. Starting him Monday will allow the Braves to give the mainstays in their rotation at least an extra day of rest. The corresponding move hasn’t been announced, so it is unknown yet if this will be another spot start for Winans or if he will be sticking in the rotation, i.e., in place of Yonny Chirinos. Winans has made two spot starts this season. He allowed five hits, two runs and struck out five in 4 1/3 innings against the Brewers back on July 22 in a game the Braves lost late, 4-3. He served as the 27th man for a doubleheader in New York on the previous road trip and held the Mets to just four hits and struck out nine while throwing seven shutout innings.
Tuesday, August 22, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
Tylor Megill (18 GS, 86.1 IP, 17.4 K%, 11.1 BB%, 43.0 GB%, 5.53 ERA, 5.14 FIP)
Right-hander Tylor Megill will get the nod for New York on Tuesday. Megill faced the Braves in the previous series in New York and allowed nine hits and six runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed five hits, and four walks, but just two runs in his last outing against the Pirates. Megill has been throwing much harder since rejoining the rotation, but he also tends to be left in after he’s run out of gas, and that’s when disaster strikes.
Bryce Elder (24 GS, 138.0 IP, 17.6 K%, 7.9 BB%, 52.4 GB%, 3.46 ERA, 4.27 FIP)
Bryce Elder has played a huge role for the Braves rotation this season as they have dealt with the loss of Max Fried and Kyle Wright to injuries. Elder has struggled in the second half, but got himself back on track in his last start where he held the Yankees to just one hit over seven scoreless innings. It’s not going to be all smooth sailing from here, as that outing came with a 3/3 K/BB ratio, and he still has work to do. Elder faced the Mets back in June and allowed four hits, four runs (including two homers) and struck out eight over six innings.
Wednesday, August 23, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South, MLB Network)
Jose Quintana (6 GS, 35.2 IP, 16.9 K%, 9.5 BB%, 41.7 GB%, 3.03 ERA, 3.41 FIP)
The Mets will go with lefty Jose Quintana in Wednesday’s series finale. Quintana has been the one New York starter that has lived up to his billing this season, though it’s been in just six total starts so far due to injury. He faced Atlanta at Citi Field on August 12 and held them to just one run over six innings, but the Braves still ended up winning 6-0. Quintana issued a season-high four walks in his last start, but allowed just two runs in six innings against the Cardinals.
Charlie Morton (24 GS, 134.2 IP, 24.7 K%, 11.2 BB%, 44.3 GB%, 3.54 ERA, 4.00 FIP)
Charlie Morton will wrap up the homestand for the Braves in the finale Wednesday. Like Elder, Morton was shaky coming out of the All-Star Break, but seems to be finding his form. He issued a career-high seven walks against the Mets at Citi Field on August 11, but bizarrely held them scoreless over five innings. Morton turned in a vintage performance in his last start, racking up 10 strikeouts while tossing six scoreless frames against the Yankees. The key for him in that outing was no longer throwing his turned-sour four-seam fastball anywhere near as often as he had before, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he keeps that gameplan against the other team from New York.