The New York Mets have the best winning percentage on Opening Day and have taken down the Atlanta Braves the last four times they met in game one.
Nobody has a better Opening Day record than the New York Mets. At 38-20 with a .655 winning percentage, your Metropolitans of the Big Apple are the team most likely to win their first game of the season.
This wasn’t always the case. The Mets didn’t win on Opening Day until 1968 when they shutout the San Francisco Giants 3-0. They wouldn’t win again on Opening Day until 1971 which started a nice streak of victories in the first game of the season.
In 1980, the Mets took down the Chicago Cubs in their season opener. This put their franchise-record at 10-9. They have remained above .500 ever since.
The Mets open the 2020 season against the Atlanta Braves. The two last squared off in the 2017 opener when Noah Syndergaard helped take them down. Hansel Robles earned the win in relief with Lucas Duda knocking in three runs and Asdrubal Cabrera adding a trio of hits.
The Mets are built much differently than they were at the start of the 2017 season in their 6-0 win against Atlanta. Yoenis Cespedes is the only guy with any chance at cracking the lineup. This time, it’s likely he does it as the designated hitter.
Unlike that 2017 lineup that featured plenty of veterans on expiring contracts, this 2020 starting nine will feature some stars in or entering their prime. The Mets have traded in the final year of Duda for Pete Alonso. Instead of the twilight of Jose Reyes at third base, we have a possible batting champion named Jeff McNeil.
Up and down this Mets’ lineup, things look far more promising than they did the last time they began the season against Atlanta.
The Mets have won their last four meetings with the Braves on Opening Day. Before their 6-0 win in 2017, they shut them out in 2012 by a score of 1-0.
In 2004, it was a 7-2 win. Shortly before that, New York defeated Atlanta 6-4 in 2001.
The one time the Braves actually did beat the Amazins in the first game of the season was in 1966. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know the Mets never won a game on Opening Day at that point in their franchise’s history. In that game, the Mets lost 3-2.
A win on Opening Day doesn’t mean much for the season ahead. In football, they say “any given Sunday.” In baseball, “any given Opening Day” applies.
The last time the Mets did play a game it ended at Citi Field with a walk-off win against the Braves. Dominic Smith blasted a pinch-hit home run to put the season to a close.
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I’m not confident we’ll have as dramatic of an ending in the 2020 opener. But if consistency is on the side of the Mets, we may be able to put the first game of the season in the books.