Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 9/7/12

By SBRForum.com

Now that they’ve fallen out of the National League playoff picture the New York Mets have been reduced to the role of spoilers for the rest of this baseball season. They’ll try to live up to that role this weekend when they host the NL Wild-Card leading Atlanta Braves for three games at Citi Field starting Friday night.

This series also marks the last appearance by Mets-killer Chipper Jones in New York, before he heads off into retirement.

But first, Chipper’s Braves are trying to ice down a playoff berth.

Mets-Braves Series Set-Up

New York just salvaged the final game of a three-game series in St. Louis, taking Wednesday’s series finale 6-2 to complete a 6-3 road trip. So the Mets, at 65-72, have 25 games to get back to the .500 mark.  Atlanta, meanwhile, just took three of four games from the Colorado Rockies, winning the last two games by identical scores of 1-0. But that was the Braves first series victory since taking three of four from San Diego three weeks ago.  Still, at 78-60 Atlanta leads the NL Wild-Card race by 3.5 games over second-place St. Louis and by five games over both Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Santana Shelved

Photo by Michael G. Baron

In what the Mets hope is the final bit of bad news for this season SP Johan Santana, bothered by a bad back, joined fellow starters Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee on the disabled list this week, and is expected to miss the rest of the season.  So just two guys, Jon Niese and RA Dickey, who started this season in the Mets rotation are still there.

The Season Series

The Braves have taken seven of 12 games from the Mets so far this season. And seven of those games have played ‘over’ on the totals.

On the Mound

New York will send Jon Niese (10-8, 3.55) to the mound Friday, rookie Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 4.52) Saturday and Chris Young (4-7, 4.48) Sunday, while Atlanta will go with Paul Maholm (11-9, 3.79), Kris Medlen (7-1, 1.56) and Tommy Hanson (12-8, 4.40).

Photo by Michael G. Baron

The Mets are 5-4 in Hefner’s starts this season, and up $200 based on $100 wagers vs. the MLB odds on each of his outings. But New York is 12-14 for Niese and just 5-11 for Young.  The Braves, meanwhile, are a perfect 7-0 in Medlens’s starts this season, and plus $700 on the MLB money chart. Atlanta is also 17-9 and plus $620 for Hanson, but only 3-3 for Maholm since he came over in that trade with the Cubs.

Place Yer Bets

As of Friday morning Bovada is listing Atlanta as a -160 favorite to win this series, with New York getting +130 as a home dog.

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