MLB LOOK AHEAD

Mets open 10-game road trip with red-hot Braves

Field Level Media

April 11, 2019 at 7:47 am.

Apr 7, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) hits a game-winning walk-off single to score first baseman Freddie Freeman (not pictured) in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Photo Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 7, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) hits a game-winning walk-off single to score first baseman Freddie Freeman (not pictured) in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Photo Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets will receive quite the litmus test when they embark on a daunting 10-game road trip against a trio of potential contenders.

The Mets will open their lengthy trek on Thursday with the first of four contests against the defending National League East champion Atlanta Braves, against whom they lost 13 of 19 encounters last season.

New York will then visit Philadelphia and St. Louis for a pair of three-game sets before returning to Citi Field for its next home game on April 22.

Atlanta has rebounded after getting swept in the season-opening series at Philadelphia, winning seven of its next eight before the scheduled series finale at Colorado was postponed Wednesday due to snow.

“I’m more impressed with how we responded after the first three games,” said Freddie Freeman, who has hit safely in all but one game this season and has scored 10 runs in 11 contests.

“I thought we didn’t play good baseball at all in Philadelphia, and how we bounced back after that series is what I’m more impressed about.”

Former top overall pick Dansby Swanson has been impressive, too, recording four homers and 15 RBIs to go along with a .324 batting average.

Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr. rebounded from a 4-for-31 start to the season by belting homers in back-to-back games against the Rockies. The 21-year-old produced four hits, four runs and three RBIs in his past two contests.

Freeman, Swanson and Acuna will test their mettle vs. the Mets’ Thursday starter, Steven Matz (0-0, 0.87 ERA). The left-hander owns a 4-0 mark with a 2.75 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves.

Matz, 27, has gone a team-record eight straight starts without getting a decision after scattering two hits and striking out eight over five scoreless innings against Washington on Saturday.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will provide the opposition for the Mets, against whom he is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three career meetings (two starts). Gausman, 28, has also struggled against offseason Mets acquisition Robinson Cano (6-for-15).

During his season debut on Friday, Gausman showed no ill effects of the right shoulder inflammation he endured in spring training. He yielded two hits and two walks while striking out seven in as many innings during a 4-0 victory over Miami.

Gausman will need to keep a keen eye on Michael Conforto, who drove in three runs for the second time in three games during New York’s wild 9-6 win over Minnesota on Wednesday. Conforto, who has seven multi-hit performances in his last 10 outings, is batting .372.

The Mets took advantage of a bases-loaded hit batsman and three bases-loaded walks, one of them drawn by Conforto, to break the game open in the fifth inning.

“I think in that situation, you want to make really sure you’re getting your pitch in the spot that you want,” Conforto said. “Otherwise, we’re more than happy to take the walks and the runs.”

While New York benefited from 10 free passes by Minnesota, Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters that he has confidence in his team’s ability to put the bat on the ball.

“I think our offense has been able to pick us up and get us to where we’re at,” Callaway said. “I’m pretty excited where we are at, given how we’ve pitched. They’ll pick up the slack and get it going here soon.”