MLB Friday Preview: Mets at Braves, A's at Rangers
New York Mets (8-4) at Atlanta Braves (7-5), 7:20 p.m. ET, MLB NetworkZack Wheeler (0-1, 10.24 ERA) (NYM) -105 / +1.5 runs (-200) / Over 9.5 runs (EVEN) Sean Newcomb (0-0, 1.64 ERA) (ATL) -105 / -1.5 runs (+170) / Under 9.5 runs (-120)
Atlanta's Freddie Freeman should exact some revenge on the New York Mets on Friday night after striking out as the tying run to end Thursday's series opener at SunTrust Park.
Freeman is 10-for-19 lifetime against Zack Wheeler, who's had a very disappointing start to 2019. The Braves' first baseman should get multiple looks at Mets relievers in this one, and in 42 combined at-bats against Robert Gsellman, Jeurys Familia and Seth Lugo, he has 14 hits, including a pair of home runs.
Right fielder Nick Markakis could also prove irrepressible. He has two hits in five at-bats against Wheeler, and he's 12-for-41 combined against Gsellman, Familia and Lugo. Left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is swinging a hot bat of late, too, collecting seven hits (including three home runs) in his last three games.
Braves starter Sean Newcomb has been a little off control-wise in his first two efforts, allowing six walks and numerous deep counts, but he's surrendered just two earned runs through 11 innings and has outstanding numbers against the Mets (1-0, 1.00 ERA, .153 batting average against in three starts last season).
MLB Free Play: Braves moneyline
Oakland Athletics (9-8) at Texas Rangers (6-6), 8:05 p.m. ETMike Fiers (2-1, 5.94 ERA) (OAK) -120 / -1.5 runs (+120) / Over 10.5 runs (-120) Drew Smyly (0-1, 7.11 ERA) (TEX) +110 / +1.5 runs (-140) / Under 10.5 runs (EVEN)
Two struggling veterans face off on Friday night at Globe Life Park, as Mike Fiers and the Oakland Athletics take on Drew Smyly and the Texas Rangers.
Globe Life Park had the highest park factor in 2018 at 1.352 runs. That spells trouble for Fiers, who has allowed 11 earned runs through 16.2 innings and has a woeful SO/W ratio of 1.11. Two of Texas' best hitters, Elvis Andrus and Shin-Soo Choo, have combined to go 13-for-41 against the Florida native.
Smyly has logged just 6.1 innings in his first two starts, allowing five runs on 10 hits and five walks. He'll have to be careful with Khris Davis, who has hit two home runs in each of his last two games.
These bullpens provide little relief, as the A's are ranked 10th in ERA in the American League and the Rangers are 11th.
MLB Free Play: Over