Friday, April 10, 2015

Braves open home slate vs. division-rival Mets

Riding the momentum created by their season-opening sweep in Miami, the Braves will attempt to extend their early success when they send Eric Stults to the mound for Friday night's home opener against the Mets.
Stults, who gained a roster spot with an impressive showing during Spring Training, will be be opposed by Jonathon Niese, who has produced a 2.28 ERA in his past four starts against Atlanta.
Three things to know about this game
• With the left-handed Niese serving as the opposition, the Braves will have both third baseman Chris Johnson and left fielder Jonny Gomes in the lineup. Manager Fredi Gonzalez is also contemplating putting Cameron Maybin in center field and Phil Gosselin at second base. But at least one of these guys might sit to allow either Eric Young Jr. or Jace Peterson to fill the leadoff spot. Right-handed batters have hit .282 with a .752 OPS against Niese over the past two seasons. The Mets left-hander has allowed left-handed hitters to bat .248 with a .658 OPS during this same stretch.
• After struggling through the first four months of last season, Stults made some mechanical adjustments that helped him post a 2.74 ERA over his final 11 regular-season starts for San Diego.
• Mets outfielder John Mayberry Jr. will likely be in the starting lineup on Friday or Sunday. He has four hits, including three doubles, in eight career at-bats against Stults.

No comments: