In Friday’s FanGraphs Live stream with Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, the Atlanta Braves head to New York to face off against the Mets in a weekend showdown between NL East rivals.
Coming off a three-game sweep of the now-slumping NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds, the Braves (21-12) have taken a half-game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East. Starting for the Braves is Mike Foltynewicz, still undefeated with a 2.66 ERA, a sea change from 2019 when he started the season recovering from injury and struggled with his slider at times. The only negative for Folty in simulated 2020 is a walk rate bordering on four batters per game.
At 13-18, the Mets aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire, but things look a whole lot better than they did in mid-April, when the team had dropped to a 5-16 record, the worst in baseball at that point. Since the eight-game losing streak that got New York in that unenviable position, they’ve taken series wins against the Braves, Brewers, and Marlins, coming away winners in eight of their last 10 games. With Jacob deGrom struggling (ERA of 5.40) and Rick Porcello’s ERA still above six, it’s Noah Syndergaard who has anchored the rotation, allowing only three runs in his last 21 innings pitched, including a complete game shutout of the Brewers.
This game is a rematch of the previous Thor vs. Foltynewicz battle, won by the Braves two weeks ago. Last time, the offenses disappeared in a 2-1 game, with the Mets only getting on the scoreboard in the ninth on a Michael Conforto solo shot that cost Folty his complete game just one out short.