The Ben Sheets comeback story gets a nationwide audience as Atlanta Braves andNew York Mets play the series finale on Sunday Night Baseball. Sheets, who missed all of 2009 and 2011 with arm injuries, has won four of his five starts with the Braves since signing with Atlanta in early July. While not possessing the overpowing fastball that marked his career with the Brewers, Sheets has used effective breaking pitches to keep opponents off-balance. New York turns to left-hander Jon Niese, who has struggled in his past three starts.
The Mets have dropped 11 of their past 12 games at Citi Field, a big reason behind New York dropping off the pace in the National League East. Overall, New York has lost five of its past seven. The Braves are 24-8 since July 4 and are 4½ games behind Washington in the NL East. The Mets are in third place in the East, 17 games behind Washington.
Braves Mets Betting
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, August 12, 2012
Where: Citi Field, New York, New York
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN3.com
PITCHING MATCHUP: Atlanta RH Ben Sheets (4-1, ERA 1.41) vs. New York LH Jon Niese (8-6, 3.82).
Sheets did not strike out a batter in his last start, allowing one run on seven hits against Philadelphia on Monday. The right-hander has surrendered only five earned runs in 32 innings, walking seven and striking out 23.
Niese is 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA in his past 10 starts, but the left-hander has allowed 11 earned runs on 20 hits in his past 19 innings. He gave up eight hits and four earned runs in his last start Tuesday against Miami, losing for the second time in his past three starts.
1. Freeman has drove in eight runs in his past five games, including five RBIs in Saturday’s victory.
2. Sheets has surrendered one walk in four of his five starts.
3. New York 3B David Wright is one home run away from 200 for his career, and one RBI away from 800.