7:10 PM ET, August 20, 2013
Citi Field, New York, New York
Atlanta: Beachy (2-0, 4.50 ERA)
New York: Wheeler (5-2, 3.43 ERA)
Brandon Beachy can keep on focusing on his recent resurgence now that, according to the MLB moneyline, the Atlanta Braves are maintaining their sizable lead in the NL East.
The right-hander tries to improve to 3-0 since returning from Tommy John surgery and help the sizzling Braves match their longest victory streak away from home of the season in tonight’s series opener versus the visiting New York Mets.
The Braves (76-48) led their division by 15 1/2 games before going 6-3 during a nine-game homestand versus NL East rival that ended as they took two of three from second-place Washington Nationals. In perhaps a preview of the rest of the regular baseball season, Atlanta kept four regulars out of the starting lineup in a 2-1 win Sunday.
YouWager experts consider Beachy (2-0, 4.50 ERA) will try to help his club, winners in 19 of 22, in their pursuit of home-field advantage by adding to his string of promising starts. The Indiana native is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last two outings after posting a 9.00 ERA in his first two games back.
Beachy gave up two runs over six innings in a 6-3 win versus the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
The Mets come into this series after winning 6-1 versus the Minnesota Twins in a makeup game Monday. New York next will look for a season-high fourth straight home win while Atlanta will try for a seventh consecutive victory away from home.
The Braves won their first seven games on the road.
The Mets will counter with Zack Wheeler (5-2, 3.43) who will try to prevent Atlanta from matching that win streak with another dominant outing. The rookie 23 year old pitcher has given up one run and pitched at least six innings in each of his last two games, striking out a career-high 12 before the New York’s’ offense scored three runs late in a 4-1 victory versus the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
The Georgia native gave up four runs over six innings in a 7-4 home victory against Atlanta on July 25 after shutting them out for six innings in a 6-1 victory at the Braves’ home in his MLB debut June 18.