The New York Mets will host the division rival Atlanta Braves at Citi Field tonight. New York’s off to a scorching hot start with a 16-7 record, which is the best in the NL. Atlanta hasn’t been nearly as successful with a 10-13 record thus far. With that being said, it’s an extremely long season, and there will be plenty of opportunities for the Braves to work their way to the top of the division. In this article, I’ll be outlining my favorite 2/2 “More or Less” play for the Atlanta vs New York game.
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2/2 More or Less – Atlanta Braves vs New York Mets
Max Fried under 5.5 strikeouts
Fried’s undeniably one of the young stars of the MLB, specifically on the mound. He’s looked outstanding this season, posting a 2-2 record with a 3.00 ERA through 4 starts. His ERA is backed by a 2.70 xFIP as well.
Fried isn’t one of the top strikeout options in the MLB, though. He ended last season with a 23.7% strikeout rate, and that dipped to 22.3% early this season. All of his advanced metrics suggest that it will stay in this range, although it could increase slightly.
Fried’s only recorded 6+ strikeouts in 1 of his 4 starts this season. He sat at 4 twice and 5 once as well. The key to this is the matchup, though.
The Mets aren’t a team that strikes out at a high rate. They’re slightly above average against left-handed pitching with a 22.8% strikeout rate against southpaws.
I’m expecting Fried to find plenty of success in this game. It wouldn’t be shocking if he throws more than 6 innings in what should be a pitcher’s battle. With that being said, he isn’t a player that can be trusted to garner strikeouts, and I prefer the under on 5.5 tonight.
Chris Bassitt over 5.5 strikeouts
Bassitt has been as advertised for New York this season. Through 4 starts, he boasts a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA, which is backed by a 3.30 xFIP.
He’s enjoying his best season in terms of strikeouts, entering this game with a career-best 28% strikeout rate. He also boasts career-bests in swinging-strike (12%), called strike (19.9%), and called-swinging-strike (31.9%) rates.
The right-hander’s thrown 6 innings in each of his 4 games this season, regardless of success. He’s also recorded 6+ strikeouts in each of those games. Overall, he posted 6 strikeouts in 3 of those 4 games with 8 strikeouts in the season opener against the Washington Nationals.
Bassitt gets a great matchup against Atlanta, who currently ranks ninth in the MLB in strikeout rate (24.1%) against right-handed pitching. There are plenty of strikeouts available throughout their lineup, and I expect Bassitt to work at least 6 solid innings once again.
Bet Max Friend “less than” 5.5 strikeouts and Chris Bassitt “more than” 5.5 strikeouts to win 2.5x your buy-in