The Atlanta Braves (56-47, plus-11.83 betting units) are fighting for first place in the National League East. The New York Mets (44-59, minus-15.25 units) have already thrown in the towel. They’ll meet Thursday night at Citi Field, starting at 7:10 PM ET, in the opening game of a four-game series that could prove vitally important – to the Braves, that is. Bet on baseball at Bovada and get a free 50% bonus.

The starting pitchers for Thursday’s opener have yet to be determined at press time, but if their respective rotations remain intact through Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline, it’ll be Mike Foltynewicz (3.04 ERA) throwing for the Braves opposite struggling southpaw Jason Vargas (8.36 ERA).

Foltynewicz is down 0.43 units this year on a team record of 9-11; Vargas is 6.04 units in the red after leading New York to a 2-8 record, and will be making his second start after spending a month on the DL with a strained calf.

To deepen the divide between these two clubs, the Mets dumped ballast ahead of the trade deadline, sending closer Jeurys Familia (2.56 ERA) to the Oakland Athletics and INF Asdrubal Cabrera (.801 OPS) to the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta acquired fourth outfielder Adam Duvall (.685 OPS) from the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.

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