1 obvious disadvantage the Mets have when compared to the Braves
By Tim Boyle
The year is young and already the New York Mets are chasing the Atlanta Braves. We’ve seen it plenty in the past. During the last two seasons, the opposite was the case with Atlanta going after New York late into the season.
Both are competitive ball clubs built in much different ways. The Mets have certain strengths the Braves don’t. However, it’s this one obvious disadvantage for the Mets that could hold them back from competing with their National League East rival most.
The Mets starting lineup is nowhere close to what the Braves can offer
What we’ve seen from the Mets offense in the early part of the season is close to what we’ll get. They excel at getting on base mostly through walks and hit by pitches. It’s a safe bet to assume they’ll be at or near the top of the league in OBP this year. Beyond that and their surprisingly strong ability to steal bases this season, there isn’t a whole lot more they have to offer.
Pete Alonso can hit home runs. Francisco Lindor is a proven run producer. The Mets are, for better or worse, a smaller ball team relying on a lot of walks, singles, sacrifice flies, and clutch bunting to help them win games.
The Braves are quite the opposite. As expected, they already have a bunch of players making a case for April’s Player of the Month Award. The roster is stacked with potential MVP candidates. Their lineup contains guys who can hit for average and power. The best hitters on the Mets tend to do one or the other.
Where the Mets have to find an edge is on the pitching side. The Braves do have good pitching, but the Mets arms at their best can roll through them in a short series. We’ll worry about that specifically if the two clubs face-off in October.
The Mets hitters have a way of disappearing against good pitching or even a left-handed starter of any kind really. Most recently, it was Clayton Kershaw who shut them out. While that’s something to expect from an all-time great like him, it exposes a weakness of this club that the Braves look for more capable of overcoming.