MLB: Texas Rangers at Atlanta Braves

Braves Series Preview September 15-17

The Mets head into Atlanta for the final time this season, with both division rivals focused on next year. After winning four in a row, New York has dropped four straight to fall back to 20 games under .500.

Terry Collins’ beleaguered pitching staff made history this week by allowing 39 runs on Chicago’s North Side, the most in a three-game set in Mets history.

The rebuilding Braves have won six of eight and would surpass their 2016 win total with a sweep.

Atlanta will visit Citi Field for four games in the season’s final week, including a doubleheader on September 25.

When and Where

Game 1: Friday @ 7:35 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 2: Saturday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: WPIX; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 3: Sunday @ 1:35 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Baseball Weather

Friday: Partly cloudy with a low near 65F; Winds light and variable

Saturday: A few clouds with a low of 66F; Winds light and variable

Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high around 85F; Winds between 5-10 mph

Probable Pitching Matchups

Friday: RHP Rafael Montero (5-9, 5.05 ERA, 4.86 DRA, .293 TAv, 0.7 WARP) vs. LHP Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.38 ERA, 6.16 DRA, .288 TAv, -0.5 WARP)

Montero has won each of his last three starts, holding opponents to a .194 average over 18.2 innings. His recent success has involved a bit of luck, however, as the inconsistent 26-year-old has walked 14 batters during that stretch.

Drafted 15th overall by the Angels in 2014, Newcomb made his big league debut against the Mets on June 10 — charged with the loss despite allowing just an unearned run in 6.1 impressive innings.

Saturday: RHP Jacob deGrom (14-9, 3.63 ERA, 2.77 DRA, .242 TAv, 5.9 WARP) vs. RHP R.A. Dickey (9-9, 4.28 ERA, 5.25 DRA, .281 TAv, 0.6 WARP)

The only steady presence in an injury-plagued rotation, deGrom rebounded from a drubbing at the hands of Philadelphia to hurl six innings of two-run ball against the Reds on Sunday, striking out 10 in the process.

Dickey faces his former club for the third time this season, earning the win in both starts behind a mediocre 4.09 ERA (5 ER in 11 IP, including 3 HR). The former Cy Young Award winner has been rocked the past two times out, allowing 12 runs (11 earned) in 9.1 innings.

Sunday: RHP Robert Gsellman (6-7, 5.58 ERA, 6.22 DRA, .317 TAv, -0.7 WARP) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (11-11, 4.57 ERA, 4.33 DRA, .276 TAv, 2.4 WARP)

Gsellman took the loss in Chicago on Tuesday, charged with four runs in four innings pitched.

Teheran has won four straight behind a 2.08 ERA (6 ER in 26 IP), striking out 20 during the streak. The two-time All-Star is 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts against the Mets this season.

Who’s Hot?

Mets INF Asdrubal Cabrera (.560 AVG (14-for-25), 1.371 OPS over his last eight games)

Mets SS Amed Rosario (6-for-11 in Cubs series)

Mets INF Jose Reyes (.375 AVG since Sunday with 4 RBIs and 4 runs scored)

Braves OF Lane Adams (2 singles, 2 walks, a triple and a home run in his last 8 plate appearances)

Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (.340 AVG (17-for-50) with 2 homers and 9 RBIs during 12-game hitting streak)

Braves C Kurt Suzuki (8-for-17 over his last four starts)

Who’s Not?

Mets OF Nori Aoki (2-for-17 this week)

Mets CF Juan Lagares (4-for-24 (.167) in his last seven games)

Braves SS Dansby Swanson (.125 AVG (2-for-16) since last Friday)

When We Last Met

The Mets won three of four at SunTrust Park in early June, losing the series opener on Rio Ruiz’s walk-off single against Josh Edgin. New York’s starting pitching was key, including dominating performances by Gsellman, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo.

It’s Literally a 10-Day DL

Braves: 1B Matt Adams (right hamstring tightness) appeared as a pinch-hitter in the series finale at Nationals Park, his first game action since Sunday.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn right lat) was expected to throw a bullpen session on Thursday. INF/OF T.J. Rivera underwent Tommy John Surgery on Thursday to repair a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow. SS Amed Rosario left Thursday’s game early due to a tight hip flexor. He is day-to-day. C Travis d’Arnaud was also pulled mid-game after twisting his right knee, but should be available for Friday’s series opener.

Notable Quotables

“Our bullpen, for the most part, has done a pretty good job. Actually we’ve pitched pretty good lately. We just did not pitch very well here… Hopefully our bullpen can pull together and get us going a little bit.” — Mets manager Terry Collins following the Cubs series

“I was struggling with both breaking balls, both of them I elevated too much over the plate. My fastball was all right. I’ve just got to be better at making an adjustment to go to pitches that are working, figure that out sooner… It’s been a rough season for me. It’s been a rough season for a lot of guys but I feel like lately I’ve been throwing the ball well, not so much tonight, but I’m going to try to go back to what I was doing the last few weeks and finish the season strong.” — Lugo, who was rocked for eight runs (seven earned) over three innings in Thursday’s loss

Photo credit: Brett Davis – USA Today Sports

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