Major League Baseball
Preview
Atlanta at NY Mets
When: 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, September 28, 2019
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

The New York Mets' season will end this weekend, but there remains intrigue heading into Saturday’s home matchup with the National League East champion Atlanta Braves as first baseman Pete Alonso chases major league history. The favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year belted his big-league leading 52nd homer of the season in the first inning of Friday’s 4-2 victory, tying the single-season rookie home run record set by Yankees slugger Aaron Judge two years ago.

Alonso entered Friday just 2-for-18 with 10 strikeouts in his previous four outings, but has two games left to try and set the rookie record and become the first New York Mets player to ever lead the major leagues in homers. The Braves have their sights set on next week’s NL Division Series but have a few milestones of their own in play entering the final two games, starting with second baseman Ozzie Albies going 1-for-5 on Friday to take over the NL lead in hits with 188. First baseman Freddie Freeman, who did not play in two games at Kansas City this week due to a bone spur in his right elbow, returned to the Atlanta lineup and reported no problems in going 0-for-5 with a run scored - remaining two homers shy of 40 longballs for the season. Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson continued blasting out of a late-season slump, finishing 3-for-5 one game after collecting four hits against the Royals.

TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Mike Foltynewicz (8-5, 4.46 ERA) vs. Mets LH Steven Matz (10-10, 4.37)

Foltynewicz continued his brilliance since returning from the minor leagues in his last start Sept. 20 against San Francisco, allowing three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over eight shutout innings as the Braves clinched the NL East. The 27-year-old has completely reversed his season, going 6-0 with a 2.35 ERA and .211 opponents batting average in nine starts since being recalled on Aug. 6. Foltynewicz has pitched to a 1.49 ERA in his past seven starts, giving up one run on two hits with seven strikeouts across seven innings in a no-decision at the Mets on Aug. 23.

Matz has pitched a career-high 154 1/3 innings this season and the workload may have caught up to him down the stretch, as he’s allowed 13 runs on 15 hits (including four homers) across nine innings in his past two starts. The 28-year-old had pitched very well before his past two starts, posting a 2.52 ERA with a .227 opponents batting average in his previous 11 starts with 61 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings. Matz, who is 7-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) at home, is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in five starts against Atlanta this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Mets LF J.D. Davis went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double, and is hitting .355 at home this season, currently ranking second in franchise history for home batting average at home (Cleon Jones, .379 in 1969; Keith Hernandez, .366 in 1984).

2. Atlanta CF Ender Inciarte, on the injured list since mid-August with a right hamstring strain, is still experiencing discomfort and will miss the rest of the regular season along with the NL Division Series.

3. New York starting pitchers are 29-14 with a 3.17 ERA since the All-Star break after RHP Marcus Stroman gave up two earned runs in six innings Friday.

PREDICTION: Braves 5, Mets 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Atlanta 97-63 L1 50-31 47-32 46-28 20-13 18-15 13-7
NY Mets 84-76 W1 46-33 38-43 38-36 14-19 17-16 15-5
Last Meeting
Atlanta NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/27/19 ATL 2 NYM 4 .257 0 .573 .290 2 .970
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta J. Donaldson .406 26 1.384
NY Mets J. McNeil .377 20 1.006
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta J. Donaldson 9 14 16
NY Mets P. Alonso 6 13 19
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 4.50 .272 146
NY Mets 5.45 .287 169
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta O. Albies .298 188 .861
NY Mets J. McNeil .318 162 .916
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta R. Acuna Jr. 41 127 101
NY Mets P. Alonso 52 101 119
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 4.19 .258 1369
NY Mets 4.27 .257 1495