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August 27th 2014 - Posted at 4:00 PM ET

Today's bet is a 1% lean.
 

Take Atlanta Braves on the Money Line (-123) against NY Mets risking 1%
(Teheran and Wheeler must start)

This is the second game of the series between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets at Citi Field in the NL East. The Braves are trying to make a strong push toward the post-season but are currently just out of the Wild Card positions and slowly running out of time. They are 7.5 games behind leaders Washington Nationals but only 1.5 back from the second Wildcard position! At this point in the season, the Braves badly need wins and there are no games to waste. Against a poor team that has little left to play for, these are the types of games that Atlanta needs to win. They came up just short last night in a narrow 3-2 defeat and we expect a bounce back effort from them to even up the series tonight.

In last night's contest, the anemic Mets offense only managed to put together 5 hits and yet somehow that was enough to win. Atlanta was the team who actually played the better game in most ways but sometimes that is not enough. We do expect them to be more efficient tonight as their backs are now against the wall and this is a determined and ambitious team.

Atlanta will send Julio Teheran to the mound tonight. Teheran has had a solid season thus far. He is 12-9 with a 2.96 ERA through 27 games! He has also had success against this Mets team in his career going 2-1 lifetime with a 2.86 ERA in 6 starts! He was roughed up in his last visit to Citi Field back in July but this will be his chance to redeem himself in what was an uncharacteristically poor outing. 

The Mets are a team that can go from cold to hot and hot to cold and confidence plays a major role in baseball. For some teams, accumulating a couple of wins means their confidence starts to rise and they build momentum and often times start to play at a higher level. The Mets are not one of those teams. After a couple of wins, they have often become satisfied and often fall flat. As a team they are just 19-37 after two or more consecutive wins over the last two seasons. 

The Braves should be very motivated in this one. We have seen them be able to "turn it on" and they often times play their very best baseball when the going gets tough. We backed the Braves successfully when they were in the midst of their 8-game losing streaks earlier this month when they desperately needed a win and feel that this is a similar situation. Braves need to keep pace in the Wildcard race and have a lot more to lose. Vegas opened them at -137 odds but the line has shifted since. We wouldn't be surprised if this was another tight game and came down to the bullpens. But if that is the case, the Atlanta relievers should have the advantage especially since only Walden came off the bench last night.

Craig Kimbrel is one of the very best closers in the game! He is young but experienced, composed and has one of the very best arms in the league. He has been in high pressure situations before and knows how to handle himself and save a game. The same cannot be said with consistency for Mets closer Jenrry Mejia. His attitude is questionable at times and he's also been dealing with soreness in his back the last couple of weeks which could prove costly if Terry Collins decides to use him late in the game again tonight. 

Fredi Gonzalez has shown his ability to motivate and inspire his team, even in the darkest of situations. This is a winnable game for them and Atlanta has the fairly inconsistent Mike Minor on the mound tomorrow so this may be their best chance to salvage the series. Look for them to muster enough offense to come away with a crucial win. Teheran is a good pitcher and the fact that he is now more affordable makes this a worthy 1% wager. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Mets are 10-17 as a small home underdog (+100 to +125) this season.
  • David Wright is 'doubtful' for tonight while Daniel Murphy will likely play but isn't 100%.
  • With Julio Teheran, Atlanta is 13-2 since September 2011 after facing 25 or fewer hitters in his last start!
  • Braves are 40-25 on the road against division opponents over the last two seasons!



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