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Mets vs Braves – 4/12/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Predictions

New York Mets vs Atlanta Braves MLB Baseball Friday, April 12, 2019 (7:20pm et) Current Odds: Atlanta -108, Total Runs 9.5

The Atlanta Braves continued locking up cornerstone players Thursday afternoon, when shortstop Ozzie Albies agreed to a seven-year deal worth a guaranteed $35 million. But hours after Albies put pen to paper, the New York Mets proved the Braves aren’t the only team in the NL East with a bevy of young talent that could provide the foundation of a franchise well into the 2020s.

Pete Alonso will look to continue his torrid start Friday night, when the Mets visit the Braves in the second game of a four-game series between the division rivals.

The Mets’ Zack Wheeler (0-1, 10.24 ERA) is scheduled to oppose the Braves’ Kyle Wright (0-1, 4.35 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Mets rode homegrown talent to a 6-3 win in the series opener Thursday, when Amed Rosario hit a three-run homer and finished with a career-high four RBIs, Alonso launched a long two-run homer and left-hander Steven Matz, one of four New York starting pitchers who have never made a big league appearance for another team, earned the win by tossing six innings of two-run ball.

Alonso’s blast landed in the pool well beyond the center field fence at Sun Trust Park and was measured at 454 feet. The 24-year-old first baseman, whose big spring convinced the Mets not to send him down to Triple-A for more “seasoning” in order to delay his arbitration and free agency clocks, has six homers and 17 RBIs in his first 12 big league games.

Rosario’s rise has been less dramatic — he entered the season hitting .255 with a .290 on-base percentage and a .384 slugging percentage in 200 big league games. But Thursday’s big night continued a hot start for Rosario, who is eight months younger than Alonso and has a hit in 10 of 12 games this season, and continued to further the Mets’ belief they have multiple players around whom to build.

“It’s fun to watch and have young players contribute,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said afterward. “Hey, if you’re going to be a good team, you’ve got to have young players performing. If you’re going to win a World Series, if you’re going to make the playoffs, your young players have to perform, because you can’t go out and just fill every position every year.”

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Few teams have embraced that philosophy more than the Braves, who have been building and retaining from within for almost 30 years now. With Albies and reigning National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr., who signed an eight-year deal worth a guaranteed $100 million last week, Atlanta has done what it did with infielders Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman and, to a lesser extent, with pitchers Tom Glavine and John Smoltz: Lock up generational talent at a team-friendly rate.

“I love being where I’m at, I love being part of the Braves,” Albies said Thursday. “I want to be a Brave for the rest of my life.”

Wheeler, who has made all 97 of his big league starts for the Mets, will be looking to bounce back from one of the roughest starts of his career last Sunday, when he took the loss after allowing seven runs and issuing seven walks over 4 2/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Washington Nationals, 12-9. The seven walks were the most by a New York starter since Oliver Perez walked seven on May 9, 2010.

Wright didn’t factor into the decision in his second big league start last Saturday, when he gave up two runs over six innings in the Braves’ 4-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Wheeler is 5-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 10 career starts against the Braves. Wright allowed two runs in one inning of relief in his lone previous appearance against the Mets last Sept. 26.

411Winners Pick and Prediction: Braves Team Total Over 4.5 Runs

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