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Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets preview, Monday 6/12, 6:10 CT

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The Cubs didn't do too well here last year.

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs got swept out of Citi Field in 2016, losing all four games in a series by a combined score of 32-13.

That seems bizarre when you realize how the 2016 season ended up. It was part of a 5-15 stretch where the Cubs looked like the worst team in baseball.

But that was then and this is now!

Now: The Cubs are at .500 for the 12th time this year, and have lost their last eight road games. That's the first eight-game road losing streak since 2012, and you surely don't want to remember that season.

Then there's the Mets, who have won four of their last five, though three of those were against the horrid Braves.

And the Mets are 14-19 at home, the worst home record in the major leagues.

So... this ought to be interesting. The Cubs have 16 of their next 20 games against teams with losing records, the only exception is a four-game series at Washington at the end of this month. So it's time for this Cubs team to step up and start winning.

Right?

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Heyward RF, Contreras C, Baez 2B, Russell SS, Lackey P

Mets lineup:

Granderson CF, Walker 2B, Cespedes LF, Bruce RF, Duda 1B, Cabrera SS, d'Arnaud C, Reyes 3B, deGrom P

John Lackey vs. Jacob deGrom

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This just occurred to me. John Lackey left a start last year August 14 with shoulder tightness and went on the disabled list. He returned in September.

Lackey in 2016 prior to DL: 24 starts, 158⅓ IP, 1.042 WHIP, 3.41 ERA, 43 BB, 156 K
Lackey since DL stint (including postseason): 20 starts, 114⅓ IP, 1.312 WHIP, 4.49 ERA, 37 BB, 108 K

I mean... that's significantly worse in not too much difference in playing time. Could it be that shoulder's still bothering him?

Lackey faced the Mets once last year, June 30, 2016 at Citi Field. He threw pretty well, two runs in 6⅓ innings. Yoenis Cespedes homered off him.

Jacob deGrom is having the worst year of his career, 12 starts' worth of a 4.75 ERA and 1.444 WHIP and 12 home runs allowed already. His last two starts have been horrific: eight innings, 18 hits, six walks, four home runs, 16.88 ERA.

I'll take one of those, please.

deGrom faced the Cubs July 1, 2016 at Citi Field. He allowed just one run: a home run to Kris Bryant.

I'll take one of those tonight, please.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.