The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets are set to face off in a crucial three-game series at Truist Park. This is the second meeting of the season between the two National League East rivals, with the Braves leading the division by three games over the Miami Marlins and the Mets sitting in third place at 5.5 games back. With fewer head-to-head meetings this year, every matchup between these two teams is critical.
The Mets will need their offense to step up against tough pitching from the Braves. The team's inconsistent offense and struggles of Kodai Senga are major concerns. Despite having big-name hitters like Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Francisco Alvarez, the offense needs to step up to support the pitching staff. The team's payroll and potential demand that they start playing up to their potential soon.
The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have announced a merger, creating a new global tour that will feature a season-long team competition and a new format for individual events. The move comes as golf's traditional tours seek to compete with the proposed Super Golf League, a breakaway circuit that has been championed by some of the game's biggest names. The new tour will feature 18 events, with the season running from January to September.
The Braves have made changes to their pitching staff, including calling up right-hander Roddery Munoz and outrighting left-hander Lucas Luetge to Triple-A Gwinnett. The move comes after the Braves optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Soroka, who is working his way back from twice tearing his right Achilles tendon, and moved staff ace Max Fried to the 60-day injured list due to a forearm strain. Meanwhile, the team faces issues with their pitching rotation due to injuries to key players such as Max Fried, Kyle Wright, and Ian Anderson.
The team could consider trading for pitching help, with options ranging from superstar pitchers to more budget-friendly choices. Among the options are targeting superstar pitchers such as Shane Bieber, who could provide a long-term solution for the team. Alternatively, the Braves could look for more budget-friendly options to help them get through the current season.
Braves manager Brian Snitker made the right decision to reinsert Marcell Ozuna into the starting lineup after benching him. Ozuna was benched for not hustling out of the box on a deep centerfield hit, which cost the team a critical play in a crucial game. Snitker's decision to bench Ozuna sent a message to the team that nothing is given and everything must be earned.
The Braves have also acquired right-handed pitcher Ben Heller in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, potentially providing bullpen help. Heller, who has not pitched in the major leagues since 2020, has a career 2.59 ERA in 31 appearances, all out of the bullpen. He had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and suffered a stress fracture in his medial elbow in 2021. The Braves designated outfielder Nick Solak for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. The trade could provide potential bullpen help for the Braves if Heller succeeds in the minors, but it is also seen as a flyer for general manager Alex Anthopoulos.