The Braves are set to close out the first half of the season with three games in New York against the Mets before the All-Star break. Entering the series the Mets are three games behind the NL East leading Braves. This will be an important series to see if the Braves can hold off the Mets and increase their division lead. On the other hand, the Mets could significantly narrow the gap or even tie the Braves for the division lead if they were to sweep.
The series will feature some superb pitching matchups, and be another tough test for Atlanta.
Tommy Hanson will square off against knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey in game one. Tim Hudson and Mike Pelfrey will match-up in game two, and the psudo-marquee matchup to the end the first half in game three will be Derek Lowe versus Johan Santana.
The Braves need to continue their streak of winning series. They have currently won their last four series, and they have won or tied all but one of their last 18 series dating back to early May when they began the run that put them in first place. Ending the first half on a positive note will be important, and this series against the Mets might be the most important series of the year up to this point.