The Atlanta Braves are the only ones who have even challenged the New York Mets for the National League East this year. Often a pest that comes out on top in the division, this year’s division race only tightened up at one point when the Braves crawled within a half game.
Atlanta wasn’t able to overtake the Mets and in their most recent series at Citi Field, it was New York that came away with 4 wins in 5 chances.
The two play each other again this week. And despite Atlanta being a strong opponent, there is nothing for the Mets to fear for these three reasons.
1) NY Mets have a superior starting pitching staff
There is no comparing the Mets and Braves pitching staff. Even if you remove one of the Mets aces, New York has the distinct advantage.
Starting pitching hasn’t been a strength whatsoever for the Braves this year. Rookie Spencer Strider has been one of the better arms alongside Kyle Wright and Max Fried. At the trade deadline, they were able to pick up Jake Odorizzi from the Houston Astros. Is there any reason to fear him? The Mets might have five or six starting pitcher candidates better than him.
Starting pitching isn’t everything but it’s certainly a strength that can help teams overcome some of their shortcomings. When your starters do their job, everyone else benefits. The offense can slump. The relief pitchers have far less on their plates. A team has a much better chance to win.
Head-to-head, the Mets are going to win more often than not.