FOX Saturday Baseball will have the battle for second place in the NL East on Saturday afternoon from Atlanta. These two teams have jockeyed for second place in the NL East all throughout the first half of the season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them battling it out all the way to the end. We’ve got a great pitching matchup in this one. Who has the upper hand?
R.A. Dickey may be the best story in baseball so far this year. The knuckleballer has come so far in such a short time, and it is hard to not root for the guy. Dickey is pitching far better than he has at any other point in his career despite the fact that he is almost 38 years old. Dickey went 12-1 with a 2.40 ERA in the first half of the season. He has turned into the leader of this pitching staff. Dickey has just 26 walks compared to 123 strikeouts this year. His worst start of the season was against the Braves, so we’ll see if he can bounce back in this start against Atlanta.
David Wright is a National League MVP candidate because of the huge numbers he is putting up right now. Wright is hitting .351 and leads the team with 59 RBI’s. He has 50 walks compared to just 47 strikeouts. As a team, the Mets have hit very well with runners in scoring position. New York is averaging 4.58 runs per game in 2012.
The Atlanta Braves have been a little bit difficult to figure out this year. Atlanta has been one of the streakiest teams in baseball. At times they have looked like a World Series caliber team, but at other times the offense has struggled to score at all. Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones must stay healthy if this time is going to reach its full potential. Martin Prado is an extremely versatile piece for the team, and he leads this team with a .321 average. Michael Bourn is hitting .311 and he has 25 stolen bases from his leadoff spot. Jason Heyward heated up a bit in the last couple weeks before the break, and the team needs a big second half from him.
Tommy Hanson has been the Braves most consistent starter so far this year. Hanson is 10-5 with a 3.71 ERA. Now that Brandon Beachy is out for the season with an elbow injury, Hanson is the staff Ace. Craig Kimbrel has 25 saves and just one blown save so far this year. This is one of the best bullpens in baseball.
MLB Free Pick: Mets ML
Hanson and the Braves have been better on the road than they have been at home. The Braves are 0-4 in Hanson’s last 4 starts against the Mets. The Mets are 19-7 in Dickey’s last 26 starts. I like the Mets at even money.