Always a big draw on the New York Mets schedule, the Atlanta Braves pop up for the second time in two weeks. Last time the two rivals met New York won the series taking two of three, but it’s the Braves atop the NL East with a 10-5 record. The Mets are only two games behind after a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, the Mets were 9-10 against Atlanta last year, which was the best in the division by far.
Both teams are led by their starting pitching, but the Braves have proven to be the superior unit so far. They lead the league with a combined 2.44 ERA, which includes the numbers for a bullpen that is arguably the best in baseball. The Mets, meanwhile, are near the bottom of the league with a 4.33 ERA after a disastrous start by their bullpen. Mets tickets are averaging $58.28 for the series at Citi Field, which is 62 percent lower than the season series average even though there’ll be giveaways each day.
Friday 7:10 | NYM Jon Niese vs. ATL Aaron Harang | Avg. Price: $46 | Get-in Price: $13
The Braves starting pitching was hit hard by injuries in Spring Training, but have still dominated the league. That’s partly due to the surprising performance of afterthought Aaron Harang, who comes into the game with a ridiculous 0.96 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. That includes a six-inning, two-hit, one-run game against the Mets back in Atlanta. Jon Niese had his own injury scare in Spring Training, but it proved to be minor, and he’s already made two starts for the Mets. The lefty has had success against the Braves with a 5-2 record over the last three years. The game is the cheapest of the weekend with an average price of $46, and features a free shirt giveaway.
Saturday 7:10 | NYM Bartolo Colon vs. ATL Ervin Santana | Avg. Price: $67 | Get-in Price: $10
Signed after the Braves rotation was hit by injury, Ervin Santana has been another pleasant surprise for Atlanta. Santana hasn’t always performed to the best of his abilities, but has so far put up even better numbers than Harang. He has a 0.64 ERA and a matching 0.64 WHIP. He was responsible for the Braves lone victory against the Mets earlier this season, shutting the Mets out over eight innings. Bartolo Colon was similarly masterful for the Mets, and was the one who outdueled Harang back in Atlanta. That was also his only win of the season, though, as he’s been shaky otherwise. This is the most expensive game of the weekend with an average price of $67, so fans must be hoping he can replicate his performance. Fas will also receive a Shea Stadium commemorative print.
Sunday 1:10 | NYM Zack Wheeler vs. ATL David Hale | Avg. Price: $57 | Get-in Price: $8
Mets tickets are averaging $57 for the final game of the weekend, and fans will get a free tote bag. David Hale will take the mound for the Braves, a pitcher the Mets chased before the end of the fifth inning in their last meeting. The 26-year-old is entering his first full season in the majors, and has only given up one run in his three other starts. Zack Wheeler is one of the Mets highly touted young power arms. He’s improved his command since last season, lowering his BB/9 from 4.14 to 2.6, but has a pretty poor ERA at 4.67. That’s not entirely indicative of his performance. Wheeler has fallen victim to the bad inning, and has an extremely unlucky BABIP of .358.