Asdrubal Cabrera may not be a member of the New York Mets next season, but the veteran infielder continues to bolster his value as a potential free agent heading into Sunday’s series finale at the Atlanta Braves. The Mets hold a team option for the 31-year-old Cabrera for 2018 and may not exercise it as several infielders could return from injury, but he started Saturday’s 7-3 victory leading the majors in batting average in September (.455) and pushed his hitting streak to 10 games.
New York snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 6-3 against the Braves in the inaugural season of Atlanta’s new stadium, SunTrust Park. The Braves (67-80) lost for only the third time in their past 10 games but sit one win shy of matching last season’s total of 68 victories. First baseman Freddie Freeman recorded two hits in Saturday’s defeat, including his 27th homer of the season, raising his career average against the Mets to .314 in 117 games with 20 homers. The Braves played without left fielder Matt Kemp, who left Friday’s game with left hamstring tightness, while New York’s Travis d’Arnaud and Amed Rosario both returned Saturday after missing the series opener.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), FSN South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Robert Gsellman (6-7, 5.58 ERA) vs. Braves RH Julio Teheran (11-11, 4.57)
Gsellman has pitched well at times since returning from a minor-league rehab assignment in August, posting a 3.86 ERA in five appearances after having a 6.16 ERA when he injured his left hamstring in late June. The 24-year-old lost Tuesday to the Chicago Cubs, allowing four runs on five hits in four innings with five walks. Gsellman has made four appearances (three starts) versus the Braves in 2017, going 2-1 despite surrendering 11 runs (10 earned) on 21 hits in 16 2/3 innings.
Teheran has rediscovered his command a bit in his past four starts, going 4-0 with eight walks, 20 strikeouts and a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings. The 26-year-old continues to improve on his home numbers after an awful start to the season, carrying a 6.47 home ERA through 15 starts at SunTrust Park into Sunday. Teheran is 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts versus the Mets in 2017 and 8-4 with a 2.56 ERA in 19 career appearances (18 starts) against them.
1. New York rookie 2B Gavin Cecchini recorded a career-high three hits Saturday, driving home two runs.
2. The Mets, who began Saturday leading the National League with 211 homers – seven shy of their franchise record – have not homered so far in the series.
3. Braves 2B Ozzie Albies finished 0-for-3 Saturday, ending his hitting streak at 13 games.
PREDICTION: Braves 4, Mets 2