Atlanta Braves vs. Jacob deGrom: familiar foes

The Mets opening day starter has handled our Atlanta Braves well.

It’s hard to figure whether the Atlanta Braves really needed a scouting report on the Mets from (now side-lined) former Met catcher Travis d’Arnaud, but for sure, there’s a lot of familiarity building up between these clubs.

Not surprisingly, Freddie Freeman has seen Jacob deGrom the most among current Braves players: 61 plate appearances.

His results have been good: 15 hits and 7 walks with 3 homers and 2 doubles mixed in for a .278 average. deGrom has checked the 1st baseman with 14 strikeouts along the way. Overall, that works out to an .842 OPS, which is tops on the team.

The highest batting average against the Mets ace belongs to Johan Camargo at .292 (7 hits in 24 official ABs). Alas, he won’t have a chance to swing this afternoon as he’s still nursing a hamstring tweak.

Matt Adams matched Freeman’s .278 average, though his output has been limited to mostly singles (oddly enough, he has a triple against deGrom… did somebody break a leg in their outfield?).

After this trio, deGrom pretty much has had the number of the rest of the lineup.

Marcell Ozuna, Ronald Acuna, and Dansby Swanson are all hitting .250 against him and everyone else is at or under a .200 clip.

The biggest surprise might be the results for Ozzie Albies: in 9 official trips to the plate, he has just one hit against deGrom – though it was a homer – and seven strikeouts.

The Atlanta Braves have often employed the tactic of trying to spoil pitches from good pitchers in an effort to wait for mistakes and to run up pitch counts.  However, deGrom has been a serious workhorse for his Mets, and could actually outlast the Braves – even given that this is the first game of the year.

In 2019, deGrom threw 3297 pitches: good for 11th overall in baseball and 4th in the National League (behind Strasburg, Nola, and Corbin… depending on how you score Trevor Bauer, who split leagues but led all of MLB with 3687 pitches).

For comparison, the Braves pitcher with the most pitches thrown last season was Julio Teheran at 3036.

Just how far deGrom can go today might be decided on how well his back holds up, though. The Mets had a momentary scare last week when deGrom had an MRI inspection of his back.

In 2019, deGrom faced Atlanta 4 times while giving up no more than 3 earned runs in the process.  In the process, though, he was 1-2 with a no-decision as the Braves matched him well on the mound.

So all this to say that this looks to line up as a typical battle between the Atlanta Braves and Jacob deGrom: low scoring with 6 or 7 innings from him.