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National League East Rivals From Opposite Sides Of The Tracks Meet In Atlanta

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 6/19/2013 7:56:33 PM

In Atlanta, the New York Mets have gained an unexpected confidence boost after sweeping a doubleheader on Tuesday. How will this five-game series conclude in Georgia?

New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves – Thursday, June 20
Sport betting line: No line

Why New York Will Win

When the best online betting sites tackle this clash, they will readily point out that New York’s starting pitcher in this game is rapidly improving after a rocky start to his 2013 season. Jonathon Niese’s ERA might be a ho-hum 4.15, but he hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in each of his last five starts, finding the form and confidence that largely evaded him in the first month and a half of the season. This is not the same pitcher who labored through April and much of May. Like so many other pitchers who struggles in April and a portion of May, Niese needs the first few months of the season to find a groove and tweak his mechanics until they create a more polished and efficient product.

The other thing that has to be pointed out about this contest is that Atlanta starter Mike Minor has given up at least four runs in two of his last three starts. He’s still a quality pitcher, but he’s going through a rut right now, and a small dip in form – however temporary it might be – is all that the Mets or any other big-league team might need in order to win one game on one night.

Why Atlanta Will Win

This is not high-stakes poker, but there's still a certain amount of importance to a baseball game played in June, and the Braves should still be seen as the team with the better dealer.

Mike Minor owns an ERA of just 2.68 and has been a steady force for the Braves in 2013, as opposed to 2012. He’s wobbled slightly in the past two weeks, but he’s still a commanding presence on the mound, a player who has markedly improved in all aspects of his craft and is an unquestioned value-positive presence for the Braves. Last year, he was so inconsistent that the team suffered as much as it thrived when Minor took the bump. This year, Minor almost always delivers results for the Braves, and that should make the difference against a New York team that is so conspicuously bereft of quality depth in its batting order. The Mets are one of the four worst offensive teams in the National League, having scored under 260 runs through 67 games, an average of under four runs each and every gameday.

The fact that Atlanta got swept by the Mets in a doubleheader on Tuesday should also fuel the Braves in this game. It’s hard to see the Mets winning at least three – and maybe four – games in Atlanta against the first-place team in the National League East.

Who Will Win?

The Braves are going to be angry after getting swept by the lowly Mets in a twin bill. Atlanta should come out focused for this game and pound the Mets on Thursday.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta

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