With the trade deadline over and done with, the Braves now turn their attention towards holding on to the National League East lead which is down to a slim 2.5 games over the surging Philadelphia Phillies. They open a week long home stand with a three game set starting tonight against the New York Mets.
The Mets come into the series with a 53-52 record and in a tie with the Florida Marlins for third in the division 6.5 games behind the Braves. They have been slumping losing six of their past ten games. The Mets are 20-33 on the road this season, and conversely the Braves are one of the best home teams in all of Baseball with a 34-13 record at Turner Field.
The series starts off with a marquee pitching match up. Tim Hudson (11-5, 2.40) will take the mound against Mets ace Johan Santana (8-5, 3.11). Santana is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Braves this year and has allowed only 10 hits in 14 innings pitched. He has struck out 9 batters while walking 5. Hudson defeated the Mets in his only start against them throwing 7 innings of shut out baseball.
Derek Lowe (10-9, 4.58) will get the start in the second game of the series and will be opposed by R.A. Dickey (7-4, 2.32). Lowe has been scuffling a bit of late having failed to reach the sixth inning in 5 of his last 6 starts. Dickey has been outstanding for the Mets all season and is coming off one of his best starts of the season. The Braves defeated Dickey back on July 9th.
Kris Medlen (6-2, 3.66) will take the mound for the Braves in the series finale and face off against Mike Pelfrey (10-5, 4.10). Medlen struggled right after the all star break but looked better in his last outing. Now that he is back in the regular rotation we will see if he can focus more with his performance. Pelfrey is 2-1 against the Braves this season but comes into the series struggling having lost his last 3 decisions in the process. For the month of July he was 0-3 with a 10.02 ERA.
Both teams have some injury concerns coming in. The Braves currently have reliever Eric O’Flaherty on the DL and are facing a decision with All Star second baseman Martin Prado. Jason Bay is on the DL for the New York Mets but Carlos Beltran will be making his debut against the Braves this series.