MLB Betting Picks May 17, 2021 – New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Two of the top teams in the NL East square off for the first time this season on Monday night when the division leading New York Mets visit the Atlanta Braves. We expected the division race to be close and so far it hasn’t disappointed in that regard with only three games separating the five teams. But the clubs haven’t been that good with the Mets having the best winning percentage with a record of 18-16, and that’s after they lost three in a row. The Braves were favored to win the division at the start of the campaign and have yet to find a groove. Taijuan Walker takes the bump for the Mets looking to end the slide.

The game will air live on ESPN with betting options for every game on the 2021 MLB schedule available at BookMaker.eu.

New York Mets at Atlanta Braves
Date and Time: Monday, May 17, 2021, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Cumberland, GA
Probable Pitchers: Taijuan Walker vs. Max Fried
Opening MLB Odds: New York +110, Atlanta -125, O/U 8
Mets at Braves TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

The Mets recently fired their hitting coach in an attempt to wake the slumbering offense. The change would probably have an effect if the team’s starters were healthy enough to play. The injury list in New York continues to grow and is partly responsible for the club getting swept in Tampa Bay. They scored eight runs in the three games, though more than half of them came in Saturday’s 12-5 setback. Prior to that, the Mets were on a massive heater winning seven games in a row to take over first place in the division.

Instead of getting players back in the lineup the Mets added to their injury list. Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto exited Sunday’s game joining Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis. Offense was an issue on Sunday with the Mets getting just two hits, one of them a Patrick Mazeika home run for the teams only run. The list of injuries doesn’t include those to the pitching staff. Jacob deGrom is on the IL along with Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard and Seth Lugo. It’ll be interesting to see if the team can keep its head above water.

We didn’t expect the Braves to struggle as much as they have offensively considering the lineup they have. After all they did lead the majors in runs scored last season and have nearly the entire lineup back. They are hitting .229 as a team and if not for their league-high 59 homers their average of 4.68 runs per game would be much lower. They are down 472 units on the moneyline and have a losing record at home, but the Braves are just 2.0 games behind the Mets in the division standings.0

Probable Pitchers

With deGrom on the shelf a little while longer, the Mets turn to Walker (3-1, 2.20 ERA) to be their ace and stop a three-game slide. He’s been lights out his last two starts allowing just one earned run and five hits with 12 strikeouts over 14.0 innings. He picked up a win in each of those games and has won his last three decisions. Walker has completed seven innings in three of his last four starts and the Mets need some length to rest a beleaguered bullpen.

Last time out Walker went 7.0 innings giving up four hits and a run in a win over the Orioles. Before that he allowed one hit and no earned runs to beat St. Louis 4-1. The Mets are 6-1 in games Walker started outscoring opponents 30-12.

The Braves are hoping Max Fried (1-1, 6.55 ERA) can help straighten out the rotation. He’s looking to build off a pair of strong outings since being activated from the IL and has gotten better each time. After nearly a month on the shelf Fried returned tossing 5.0 innings of one-run ball in a win over Washington. He stretched out to 6.0 frames and 89 pitches last time out surrendering two hits and a run taking a ND in a game the Braves lost 4-1.

Fried isn’t overpowering and needs better command of his pitches to be effective. The lefty has achieved that making all his offerings more effective than they were earlier in the year when he allowed 23 hits with an 11.45 ERA prior to going on the IL. The Braves need Fried to return to something close to the form he displayed last season when he went 7-0 with a 2.29 ERA. With Mike Soroka out indefinitely Fried is the de facto ace and the Braves need him to continue throwing like it.

Bet Mets at Braves at BookMaker.eu

With the Mets missing bats and Fried pitching well since his return I’m leaning toward the home team. And it’s to figure out where the runs are going to come form for the Mets giving plenty of value to the UNDER. Atlanta’s bullpen hasn’t been very good this season and the group likely gets an early appearance with Fried working his way back. But the Mets don’t have much pop so stick with the home team.

MLB Score Prediction: Braves 4, Mets 2

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