New York Mets
Here at Bang the Book, we begin our weekly look at ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball duel with a glance at the battle in the NL East tonight between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. Atlanta has dropped four straight games, the last three of which it was favored by at least a -120 margin to fall into the gutter in the division. The Mets will reclaim last place with a loss though, in spite of the fact that they have won three in a row. New York won the first two games of this three game set 5-2 and 3-1 on Friday and Saturday respectively, and it'll be going for the crucial sweep of its divisional rivals to close out the weekend of MLB betting action.
The world will once again get a great look at Atlanta's superstar in the making, RHP Tommy Hanson tonight. Hanson was knocked around just a tad by the Phillies five days ago, as he allowed six hits and two runs in 4.2 innings of work. He tossed 102 pitches in that time, which is why he wouldn't have qualified for the victory even if his team had scored runs for him before the bottom of the ninth inning in the 4-3 extra innings win. Manager Bobby Cox is being very careful with his young, 23 year old arm, as Hanson hasn't thrown deeper than the 6th inning in any outing this year. The youngster enters this one at 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts.
There haven't been many more consistent pitchers in the Mets' rotation than RHP Mike Pelfrey this year. Not only has he not allowed a run since his first start of the year, but he also has a save to boot from that 20 inning marathon against the Cardinals in the interim. All told, Pelfrey is 3-0 with a miniscule 0.86 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a .181 batting average against. However, he's had a miserable time trying to figure out the Braves in his career, as he is 2-5 with an ERA a shade over 6.00.
Pelfrey is pitching like a stud right now, and there's just no reason not to back him at home, particularly against Hanson. The Atlanta bullpen is going to inevitably have to throw at least three frames tonight if it hopes to win this game, while the Mets know that they have a good shot of getting seven or eight frames from their best arm to date on the '10 season. Go with the hosts as short dogs tonight.
Selection: New York Mets +105 at Diamond Sportsbook
The Mets are looking to bust out the brooms against the Braves after losing the final eight meetings of the year against them in '09. If you're ready to back them tonight, be sure to sign up for an account at DSI!