Bet of the Day – NY Mets at Atlanta Braves, August 31, 2010

NY Mets (+135) at Atlanta Braves (-145), Over/Under 7.5 runs, 7:10 ET

Yesterday, like the Phillies lineup, I whiffed on my bet of the day.  It’s a new day.  The NY Mets and Atlanta Braves lock horns today for the 2nd game in their series.  The Mets are teetering on a .500 season, while the Braves are looking to add another game to their NL East lead.

The Mets (65-66) have been hitting better lately, just not when they need it most.  They have a .354 OBP over their last 7 games, but have left 9.4 runners on base per game and scoring only 3.6 runs per game.  They will need more timely hitting against the hot Braves pitching staff.  John Niese (8-6, 1.336 WHIP) has been solid this year and looks to be a key part of the Mets rotation for years to come. Niese is coming off his worst start of the year.  Niese gave up 7 earned runs in 5.7 innings.

Just as many were starting to doubt he Braves (75-66), they look to be on the upswing.   The Braves have won 3 straight, including a win over the Marlin’s Josh Johnson.  Teams win 68.2% of the time when playing at home after 3 straight wins.  The Braves bats are hot with a .351 OBP over their last 7 games.  During this stretch, they scored 7 or more runs in 4 games.  The Braves are surely full of confidence today with hot young starting pitcher, Mark Minor (2-0, 1.167 WHIP).  Minor has struck out 22 batters in 18 innings; including 12 in his latest start.  The Mets haven’t seen Minor’s stuff yet and that should be to the Brave’s advantage.

The results of my baseball model are clear; Braves 4.57 to Mets 3.3 for 7.87 total runs.  The Braves are better in most relevant statistical categories.   The  keys to the model variance are Atlanta’s ability to advance runners and Niese’s walk and hit count.  If Niese isn’t on his game, it could be a long day for the Mets.

Today’s pick should be clear.  I am siding with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are hot right now.  They have won 3 straight and are playing at home with a fresh arm on the mound.  Bet on the Atlanta Braves on the Money Line -145. Follow me on twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!


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