By: Marc A. Kaplan

Mets Head To Atlanta With Magic Number Down To 17

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With a season defining sweep of the Nationals in the rear view mirror the Mets will continue their road trip with a four game stop in Atlanta. With 23 games remaining and a magic number of 17, there’s still work to be done before season’s end. A successful series against the reeling Braves can bring the Mets that much closer to sealing their first playoff berth and division title since 2006.

The Braves are coming off a 2-1 series win over the last place Phillies, prior to which they had lost 12 straight. While there is certainly reason for the streaking Mets to be confident, they have lost 5 of their 6 games in Turner Field this season. In their June 19-21 series in which they were swept, the team scored just 5 total runs and their season seemed to be fading at 36-35. Now at their high water mark of 78-61 and firmly entrenched in first place, this Mets team is an entirely different monster with a lethal lineup to match their dominant pitching.

Expected to take the mound for the Amazins this weekend are Bartolo Colon, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, and Jon Niese. This will be the beginning of a 6-man turn through the rotation with Logan Verrett and Jacob deGrom slated to open the upcoming series with the Marlins.

For the Braves it will most likely be Shelby Miller, Matt Wisler, Williams Perez, and Ryan Weber toeing the rubber in this four game set. Miller, Wisler, and Perez have each started one game against the Mets this season, with each receiving a win. Sunday will be just the second start of Weber’s career. Manny Banuelos had been on track to start Friday’s game but is now scheduled to have a visit with Dr. James Andrews regarding his recent elbow soreness.

Terry Collins has acknowledged that he may rest some of his starters this series after the taxing matchup against the Nats. Expect to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Juan Uribe, Juan Lagares, and Eric Campbell each in the lineup at some point. Michael Cuddyer is also expected to return from his wrist injury this weekend and could be in the lineup as early as Friday.

While the story of the past week has been the resiliency of the Mets offense, it will be the 42-year-old veteran Bartolo Colon entering the series with the most buzz. The ever exciting right hander has thrown 25 straight scoreless innings over his last four appearances, the longest such stretch of his career. His most recent outing came last Saturday in the form of a complete game shutout against the Miami Marlins where he impressed with both his arm and his leather.

For the season Colon is 13-11 with a 4.18 ERA over 27 starts. His opposite, Shelby Miller, sports a 2.81 ERA to go along with an unfortunate 5-13 record. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM.

About Marc A. Kaplan

Marc A. Kaplan has been writing for DailyStache since joining the staff in early 2015. He is currently a senior broadcasting major at the State University of New York at Oswego. Contact Marc at KarcMaplan@gmail.com.

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