Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Atlanta at NY Mets
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, September 25, 2017
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

The Atlanta Braves open the final week of the season with a doubleheader Monday at the New York Mets, and two games in one day suits Ender Inciarte just fine. The Braves center fielder, who is three hits away from becoming the first Atlanta player in 21 years to reach 200 in a season, collected eight hits in a doubleheader Aug. 30 at Philadelphia and followed up with five in a twinbill Sept. 6 against Texas.

Despite Inciarte’s strong season the Braves are going to finish below .500 for the fourth consecutive year, but Atlanta (70-84) won three of its past four games and has already surpassed last season’s win total of 68. The Mets have also struggled in 2017, dropping 10 of their past 13 contests, and enter the week a season-worst 23 games under .500. Rookie shortstop Amed Rosario is hitting .341 with eight runs scored in 13 games during September, after going 2-for-4 in New York’s 3-2 loss to Washington on Sunday. The Mets lead the season series 9-6 and have won five of the past six meetings.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves LH Max Fried (1-0, 4.41 ERA) vs. Mets RH Seth Lugo (6-5, 5.03)

Fried made four relief appearances in August after being summoned to the majors for the first time, and will make his third start in four appearances this month. The 23-year-old beat the Chicago Cubs for his first major-league victory Sept. 3, and in two starts has allowed four earned runs on 10 hits in 8 2/3 innings. Fried pitched one inning of relief against the Mets on Sept. 16, striking out two of the three hitters he faced.

Lugo won three of his first four starts this season but has struggled since, and in his past eight starts is 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA in 38 2/3 innings. The 27-year-old got a no-decision while allowing one run on four hits over five innings Tuesday against Miami - five days after surrendering seven earned runs across three innings in a loss to the Cubs. Lugo started his season with a 2-1 victory over the Braves on June 11, giving up only one run on six hits with six strikeouts in seven innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York OF Brandon Nimmo hit a first-inning homer Sunday, giving the Mets their franchise-record tying 218th longball this season.

2. Braves 1B Freddie Freeman, who missed Saturday’s game with an illness, went 1-for-4 in his return to the lineup Sunday.

3. Mets INF Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .379 in September with 11 extra-base hits (eight doubles, three homers) and 11 RBIs in 66 at-bats.

PREDICTION: Mets 4, Braves 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Atlanta 70-84 L1 37-44 33-40 31-37 11-21 19-15 9-11
NY Mets 66-89 L2 34-43 32-46 33-36 14-19 12-21 7-13
Last Meeting
Atlanta NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/17/17 NYM 5 ATL 1 .121 0 .323 .212 1 .788
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta M. Kemp .347 17 1.008
NY Mets A. Cabrera .265 13 .849
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta M. Kemp 2 8 5
NY Mets A. Cabrera 2 10 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 5.23 .239 104
NY Mets 3.33 .250 109
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta F. Freeman .314 129 1.012
NY Mets A. Cabrera .276 126 .781
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta F. Freeman 28 80 71
NY Mets M. Conforto 27 72 68
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 4.72 .263 1196
NY Mets 5.02 .251 1320