Kate Barrington  |  Thu 11th Apr   | MLB

The New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves opened the season among the best offensive teams in the MLB. On Thursday (7:20 P.M EST), there will be fireworks as the National League East rivals kick off their season series at SunTrust Park in Cumberland, Georgia.

Both sporting an identical 7-4 record, the Mets and Braves have been lighting it up at the plate in the first two weeks of the 2019 MLB season.

The Mets are currently 7th in the league in batting average (.266), 11th in slugging percentage (.444), 8th in on-base percentage (.353) and 6th in runs (69). The Braves, meanwhile, are 9th in batting average (.264), 13th in slugging percentage (.439), 4th in on-base percentage (.366) and 11th in runs (59).

By just looking at the numbers, it’s easy to say that fans are in for high-scoring baseball games over the next four days. Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson are set to lead the charge for Atlanta, while Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto are the men in charge to keep the Mets afloat on offense.

Thursday’s showdown on the mound will feature Braves’ Kevin Gausman going up against Mets Steven Matz, who has so far allowed only one run in 10.1 innings. The Atlanta Braves are -1.5 points favorite over the New York Mets.

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New York Mets Team Preview

The Mets won six of their first eight games before suffering back-to-back setbacks at the hands of the Washington Nationals and the Minnesota Twins this week.

They restored order after giving the Twins a 9-6 payback on Wednesday. But questions still lurk as to how long the Mets can keep this high-octane offense without much help from their subpar pitching lineup.

Jacob deGrom, who shut down batters in 27 straight innings, played his worst game of the season on Tuesday after conceding six runs – three of which are home runs – in a 14-8 loss to the Twins.

This development is alarming for a team that has World Series aspirations. Yes, it’s still very early in the season, but it’s necessary for their starting rotation and bullpen to step up their game before their sluggers run out of ammo.

Atlanta Braves Team Preview

Although the Braves are pitching just slightly better than the Mets, their bullpen sadly is far from being consistent. A clear example of this is the on-going struggle of relief pitchers Luke Jackson and Chad Sabotka, who have a combined ERA of 11.75 in 11.4 innings pitched.

The good news for Atlanta is they are going to get a shot in the arm soon with Mike Foltynewicz making his return from injury this coming weekend. A first-time All-Star last season, Foltynewicz struck out five batters in 3 2/3 innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday

Meanwhile, Swanson is enjoying the best start of his career. The 25-year-old shorts stop is batting .324 with four homers and 15 RBIs this season. The next productive batter for the Braves is right fielder Nick Markakis, who is batting .341 with nine RBIs.

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Betting Pick

Again, this game is going to be a frantic, high-scoring affair with multiple batters going over the fence.

While Steven Matz and Kevin Gausman both have respectable slate on the mound, I don’t see them slowing down the pace of the game. The Mets and the Braves are just too good offensively to be contained under three runs.

Having said of that, I feel the Braves will once again explode in this game behind the trio of Swanson, Freeman, and Markakis. These batters have been playing really well as of late, and sometimes momentum is the big difference in any game.

Bet the Atlanta Braves -1.5 favorites over the New York Mets.

Check out all of our MLB previews & picks here

Kate Barrington