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Braves vs. Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Needs A Big Weekend In New York

The playoff races are heating up. This is a big series for Atlanta. Will they be able to come away with a few victories? We'll take an in-depth look inside...

The Braves need to get back in gear this weekend. They have struggled since the All-Star Break, but Chipper Jones should be back as early as Friday and the pitching matchups are heavily in our favor. Four teams -- the Phillies, Braves, Diamondbacks and Giants -- are essentially fighting for three playoff spots. Assuming the Braves can take care of business, they're guaranteed to gain a game on at least one of those teams, if not two. 

The Phillies are playing four games in San Francisco and the DBacks will be hosting the Dodgers in Phoenix for three games. Scoreboard watching season is now in session!

All this aside, the most important part of this weekend is ultimately for the Braves to win. A sweep would be thinking big, but with our three best pitchers on the mound and (hopefully) having Chipper back in the lineup it is certainly doable.

Let's take a closer look at our NL East foes:

He's healthy and ready to do damage:

David Wright

#5 / Third Base / New York Mets

6-0

210

R

R

Dec 20, 1982

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - David Wright 51 197 33 53 11 0 8 31 27 49 9 0 .269 .354 .447

David Wright has missed a lot of the 2011 season with a back injury, but he has been on fire since coming off the disabled list two weeks ago. The All-Star third baseman has killed the Braves in recent years and has provided the Mets lineup with some punch that they desperately needed. Expect him in the lineup for all three games.

An MVP candidate?

Jose Reyes

#7 / Short Stop / New York Mets

6-1

200

B

R

Jun 11, 1983

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Jose Reyes 95 419 79 142 26 16 5 36 29 30 32 7 .339 .379 .513

Remember when we compared facing the Nationals in Washington DC to undergoing a colonoscopy? Facing a healthy Jose Reyes in 2011 is like undergoing three colonoscopies. The shortstop recently came off the disabled list after a calf injury and has not missed a beat since returning. His speed disrupts the game more than just about any player in baseball and he has tormented Atlanta this season.

Pitching matchups:

Friday, 7:10EDT - Tim Hudson vs. R.A. Dickey

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Hudson 10-7 22 22 1 1 0 0 141.1 123 59 52 9 35 104 3.31 1.12
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - R.A. Dickey 5-9 23 22 1 0 0 0 140.2 144 65 59 15 41 95 3.77 1.32

Saturday, 7:10EDT - Tommy Hanson vs. Jon Niese

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tommy Hanson 11-6 21 21 0 0 0 0 126.2 98 48 45 13 44 137 3.20 1.12
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jon Niese 10-8 25 22 0 0 0 0 134.2 141 69 59 11 39 116 3.94 1.34

Sunday, 1:10EDT - Jair Jurrjens vs. Dillon Gee

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jair Jurrjens 12-4 20 20 2 1 0 0 133.2 118 41 39 11 35 85 2.63 1.14
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Dillon Gee 10-3 20 17 1 0 0 0 107.1 86 48 44 8 43 70 3.69 1.20

Stat of the series:

Dan Uggla has a 25-game hitting streak. He is 0-for-15 in his career against Dickey. Will the streak continue? 

Series Outlook:

As mentioned before, this is a big series for the Braves. A series victory is a must and a sweep would be excellent. I see the club taking the series and taking a tough loss on Sunday afternoon.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.