Cubs vs. Mets Preview, Friday 5/17, 1:20 CT: A Former Rivalry

Reid Compton/USA Today Sports

The Mets aren't very good this year. Perhaps that will be good news for the Cubs this weekend.

The Mets did the Cubs and the rest of the N.L. Central a favor Thursday by defeating the Cardinals. That was, unfortunately for Mets fans, their first win in a while -- it broke a six-game losing streak.

A few of the Mets are having decent years. Catcher John Buck has hit 10 home runs already. David Wright sports a .917 OPS and Lucas Duda is at .828. Matt Harvey, who starts today, is one of the best pitchers in the game.

But the rest of the Mets' rotation is awful. Their bullpen work has been spotty (sound familiar?) and they just signed Rick Ankiel, who couldn't even stick with the Astros. Oh, and Marlon Byrd will be making his first appearance at Wrigley since he was shipped off to the Red Sox last year.

For those of you who, like me, remember the Cubs/Mets rivalry from the days of the pre-1993 N.L. East, this series is just three games between a pair of teams meandering the wilderness of mediocrity. Try to enjoy the weekend anyway. Also, it might rain.

You have no doubt noticed performance problems here and at other SB Nation sites this week. Here's an update on the issues; feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments to that post.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Jackson P

Mets lineup:

Valdespin RF, Murphy 2B, Wright 3B, Davis 1B, Duda LF, Buck C, Ankiel CF, Tejada SS, Harvey P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson


Cubs

vs. Matt Harve

Matt Harvey


Mets

vs. NY

--

vs. Cubs

Edwin Jackson's last start against the Mets, August 18, 2012 in Washington, was a good one -- seven innings, two hits and two runs, 11 strikeouts. Jackson finally put together a good outing his last time out. He'll need to, because...

Holy crap, this isn't even fair. Matt Harvey? First of all, he's never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster, and you know what usually happens with that kind of matchup. But second, Harvey has a 1.44 ERA in eight starts, a 0.728 WHIP (leads the major leagues) and in his worst start this year, he gave up three runs in six innings and struck out seven. Two starts ago, he gave up one hit to the White Sox and struck out 12 in nine innings (the game went 10). He's been called "a young Justin Verlander". This is the clearest case of doom I've ever seen.

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Mets site Amazin' Avenue.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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