Last night, the Mets shuffled up how they will attack the Braves on the mound this series. Their three best pitchers were always scheduled to start, but they shifted their two best arms — Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer — up a night and moved Bassitt back from Friday to Sunday.
Friday Night — Jacob deGrom (5-3, 2.93 ERA) vs. Max Fried (13-7, 2.50 ERA)
The last time these two teams played, this was the pitching matchup, and it delivered spectacularly, with the Braves coming out on top by a score of 3-2. In my opinion, deGrom is the most talented pitcher to ever walk the face of the earth. When he’s right, I don’t think there’s been anybody better. However, his last three times out, he hasn’t been nearly as crisp. deGrom gave up three runs in six innings against the Cubs, three runs in five innings against the Pirates, and five runs over four innings against the Athletics. Those aren’t exactly stellar offensive teams, either. Hopefully, the Braves can take advantage, but I have a feeling he will be locked and loaded for the most pivotal game of the season to date.
On the other end, Max Fried has quietly turned in another spectacular season for the Braves. It doesn’t feel like it, but this has actually been the best year of his career, which is a testament to his consistency. Fried may be the best left-handed pitcher in baseball, and nobody relishes the big moments more. Friday’s night matchup was made for him.
Saturday Night — Max Scherzer (11-4, 2.13 ERA) vs. Kyle Wright (20-5, 3.18 ERA)
Max Scherzer is an ageless wonder. He’s battled some injuries this season, but when he’s been healthy, he’s arguably been the best pitcher in baseball. Scherzer has also been outstanding versus the Braves this year, going 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA. The advantage is undoubtedly with the Mets in the second game of the series, but Kyle Wright could have something to say about it.
The 2017 first-round pick out of Vanderbilt has been one of the Braves’ breakout stars in 2022. In his last start, he became just the seventh pitcher in franchise history to win 20 games in a season and the first since 2003. However, Wright hasn’t been good against the Mets this season. In two starts versus New York, he owns a 6.23 ERA as the Braves dropped both games. Hopefully, the third time is a charm against this division foe.
Sunday Night — Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29 ERA)
The series finale features another stellar pitching matchup. Bassitt has been spectacular in his first season with the Mets, and he’s found success against the Braves as well, posting a 2.77 ERA over two starts. He’ll be up against Charlie Morton, who has experienced some really high highs and some really low lows this year. Nothing describes that better than his three starts against the Mets.
In Morton’s first two outings versus New York, he surrendered nine earned runs over 10.2 innings as the Braves predictably lost both games. However, the last time he faced the Mets, he was incredible, tossing a three-hit shutout through 6.2 innings in a game the Braves would go on to win 5-0. Against a phenomenal opponent like Chris Bassitt, Atlanta will need a vintage performance from Charlie Morton in the series finale if they want any chance of winning the division.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire