Mets vs. Braves: 3 bold predictions for the series in Atlanta

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game One
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game One / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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2) Justin Verlander and Spencer Strider will have an old fashioned pitching duel

Thursday's rubber game in Atlanta features a fascinating pitching matchup. Justin Verlander, surefire Hall-of-Famer, will take the mound for the Mets, and he will face Spencer Strider, the young Braves ace that is the current NL Cy Young favorite.

At 40 years old, Verlander has 16 years on his counterpart. He won his first Cy Young when Strider was still in middle school. The veteran has been unable to put up back-to-back gems for the Mets though, alternating between allowing one and six runs in his last five starts.

This would mean Verlander is due for a stinker against the Braves, but we all know he's a better pitcher than that. Verlander's last bad start was in Colorado, which always comes with an asterisk, and his other one was against the Rays, who have arguably the best lineup in baseball.

Strider has been dominant in his short career, but the Mets have given him trouble. In six starts against the Mets, the mustachioed righty has an ERA of 5.03 with only 25 strikeouts, including a loss last August in which he infamously accused the Mets of being lucky against him.

The Mets' offense is in the pits right now though, so it may be the perfect time for Strider to face them. Verlander was on the losing end of a pitching duel with the Blue Jays' Chris Bassitt on Friday. Expect another one between Verlander and Strider on Thursday.