As if this Braves team couldn’t get any more exciting, there is another top prospect making his way to the big leagues.
While Atlanta vies for first place in the NL East - which could be in their clutches as soon as tomorrow night - they have selected Mike Soroka’s contract and he will start game 1 of this series against the New York Mets.
In the future, Braves fans will look back on this seven-day stretch as the week Mike Soroka and Ronald Acuña, Jr. made their MLB debuts. What a time to be alive.
In recent years, some of the luster that comes with the storied Braves-Mets rivalry had worn off. While the Braves had torn their Major League roster down to the studs, the Mets were going to toe-to-toe with the Nationals for NL East supremacy (2017 notwithstanding). Regardless of results, it was rarely an even match-up.
But now, order has been restored, and the rivalry is picking up steam again.
While the 17-9 Mets rattled off a nine-game winning streak which catapulted them into first place early in the season, they have played rather pedestrian baseball otherwise - more than half of their season wins came during that streak. Meanwhile, the 16-11 Braves have maintained a consistent level of play, carrying a 6-1-2 series record into this three-game tilt at Citi Field.
The last time these two teams faced off, the Braves took the series 2-1, putting a bow on it with an Ender Inciarte walk-off bunt.
Soroka will attempt to neutralize a Mets lineup that will be without Yoenis Cespedes, who will likely miss the entire series due to a sore thumb. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard will take the ball for New York. He will try to keep a relentless and exciting Braves lineup in check. While Acuña’s career is off to a blazing start, Thor will be his toughest test yet. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope he — and Soroka — will join a long line of Mets killers.
As the season rolls on, the sample sizes get bigger, and we can all start to glean what from the early part of the season is real. BABIPs stabilize, FIPs regress, and players often return to the profiles that have always carried them. We are about to find out how much of the Braves’ March/April success was a fluke, and how much the team can sustain moving forward. With any luck, these new Baby Braves will be looking down at the rest of the division by the end of this week.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, May 1, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Citi Field, Queens, NY
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM, WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network
Hype Level: COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL