It’s round one between two NL East heavyweights on Friday night, as the Atlanta Braves head to Queens to kick off a weekend set against the New York Mets. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. NL Cy Young candidate Max Fried (1-0, 0.60 ERA) takes the mound for Atlanta, while New York counters with lefty David Peterson (1-3, 7.36).
Atlanta is currently a -130 favorite on the moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook, while New York checks in as +110 underdogs. The run total is set at 7.5.
Braves-Mets picks: Friday, April 28
Day-to-day: RP Joe Jimenez (paternity)
Out: RP Lucas Luetge (biceps), SS Orlando Arcia (wrist), C Travis d’Arnaud (concussion), OF Michael Harris II (back), RP Raisel Iglesias (shoulder), SP Kolby Allard (oblique), RP Tyler Matzek (elbow), SP Huascar Ynoa (elbow)
Out: SP Justin Verlander (right teres major strain), RP Edwin Uceta (left ankle sprain), C Omar Narvaez (left calf strain), RP Stephen Nogosek (eight elbow bone bruise), SP Carlos Carrasco (right elbow inflammation), SP Elieser Hernandez (right shoulder strain), OF Tim Locasro (back spasms)
Max Fried vs. David Peterson
Fried has yet to allow a run since returning from the injured list, most recently spinning 6.2 shutout innings against the Houston Astros. The lefty looks like an early NL Cy Young contender, using his typically elite command of all four pitches to induce some of the weakest contact of any starter in baseball.
The Mets have called on Peterson amid injuries to Justin Verlander, Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana, but the lefty has disappointed thus far after a solid campaign last season. The main issue has been his slider — it was an elite pitch in 2022, but has carried a .590 expected slugging percentage so far this year. The lefty throws it 25 percent of the time, so he’ll need to find the feel for it quickly against a Braves lineup that’s feasted on lefties.
Peterson has allowed five or more earned runs in three of his five starts this year, which would immediately put this total in jeopardy. Fried should shove for Atlanta, but this number feels too low considering the firepower on these offenses.
Pick: Over 7.5
Peterson just hasn’t given us any reason to trust him yet this year, while the Mets’ bullpen has been every bit as shaky as the Braves’ of late. Ride with Fried in a game full of unknowns.