Atlanta’s lineup was unable to explode for an avalanche of runs in order to keep up with New York last night but they could have an opportunity to get rolling tonight when they take on Tylor Megill. Megill hasn’t been pitching particularly well this season, as his ERA of 5.53, ERA- of 135, FIP of 5.14 and FIP- of 121 has contributed to a mediocre fWAR of 0.1 over 18 starts this season. The last time the Braves encountered Megill was 11 days ago, which is when the Braves tagged him for nine hits, one walk and six runs (five earned) in an eventual 7-0 win for Atlanta.
This will be the third time the Braves have faced Tylor Megill, as the first encounter on May 1 eventually ended in a 5-3 win for the Mets with all three runs that Atlanta scored coming off of Megill. So that means that Megill has gone 11 innings against the Braves this season with eight earned runs allowed (nine overall), 13 hits, four walks allowed and seven strikeouts. Interestingly enough, the Braves haven’t homered off of Megill yet.
It’s not due to Megill being particularly averse to giving up hard contact — he’s in the 18th percentile when it comes to average exit velocity (which is at a whopping 90.4 mph) and he’s not much higher when it comes to Hard Hit percentage and Barrel percentage, either. As a matter of fact, you’re going to see a whole lot of blue when it comes to Megill’s Baseball Savant page and it definitely lines up with how his season has gone in terms of production as a starting pitcher for the Mets. Megill hasn’t had a scoreless outing since he pitched six scoreless innings against the Marlins back in April but he has had three starts since then where he’s given up just one run. With that being said, the Braves should have some opportunities to do damage tonight.
Meanwhile, the enigmatic and mercurial Bryce Elder will be getting the ball for tonight’s contest. Elder is currently in the midst of his most unpredictable stretch of the season. Ever since July, the odds have been either he’s going to be out there for at least six innings while keeping the opposing lineup in complete control or he’s going to get blasted for five-to-seven runs in a short stint. There’s been no in-between, which means that we’re probably going to know very quickly which version of Elder that we’re going to get tonight.
The obvious hope is that we get the version of Elder that showed up against the Yankees last week. Elder arguably had his best start of the season where he pitched seven strong innings where he only gave up one hit and walked three batters while striking out three hitters and shutting them out while he was out there. Naturally, it’d be wishful thinking to ask for Elder to go back out there for seven more scoreless innings but we can all dream, right?
Bryce Elder’s going to be seeing the Mets for the second time this season and his first start was a bit of a mixed bag. He went six innings and struck out a season-high eight batters but he also gave up four runs in that game. I think a lot of y’all may remember exactly which game this was:
Bryce Elder left the game with the Braves down 4-1 but Atlanta eventually got the last laugh as Pete Alonso’s home run was the end of the scoring on the night for the Mets and the Braves roared back to pull off a 6-4 comeback win. I’d rather the Braves not have to win in comeback fashion tonight but if it results in a victory then so be it, I guess.
The Braves haven’t experienced too many three-game losing streaks this season — they’ve only lost three or more consecutive games on five occasions this season. For comparison’s sake, their opponents this evening have had 10 such losing streaks reach three games or more this season. If Atlanta doesn’t want to fall into a three-game skid for the sixth time this season, they’ll have to figure out a way to crack Tylor Megill’s code again while Bryce Elder would need to keep New York’s lineup in check. It’s a pretty simple formula but the Braves have been finding many formulas for success all season so it wouldn’t be shocking if they figured it out again tonight.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, August 22, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM, The Fan