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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Mets series preview

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A postseason team in 2015 and 2016, the Mets have fallen on hard times.

Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cubs last saw the Mets in June at Citi Field, they lost two of three to their hosts.

But the Mets have suffered a number of injuries since then and are 33-45 since that series. Steve Schreiber of our SB Nation Mets site Amazin’ Avenue updates us on his team:

Nearly every good player on the Mets is injured or traded. That's the quick recap of the 2017 Mets. You look up and down the roster and it's been ravaged by injuries and trades of vets, to the point that it's mostly unrecognizable. Brandon Nimmo's hitting cleanup now (weird!). Rafael Montero might be the second best starter on the team (gross). Eight pitchers have made more starts than Noah Syndergaard, including Chris Flexen who got bumped up from Double-A in late July (he's trying his best). If you don't recognize those names, you're excused. For the record, Chasen Bradford is a right-handed reliever but unfortunately, unrelated to Chad (as far as we know). Jacob deGrom is still healthy and pitching reasonably well. He's been one of the few guys on the entire roster, along with Jerry Blevins, who's managed to both stay off the DL and perform as expected. Oh yeah, Jose Reyes leads the team in games and plate appearances. That would've been nice in, say, 2011, but he's a shell of his former self now.

Looking somewhat ahead, the Mets brought up their two top prospects, shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith. Both have gotten off to slow starts, particularly Smith who's rocking a barely .600 OPS so far through 100 PA. Rosario has shown flashes at the plate and been a revelation in the field, even with some rookie blunders thrown in here and there (the Mets' last three regular starting shortstops are Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores, and Ruben Tejada. The bar is extremely low). The Mets also have added a decent core of young relief pitchers after trading all of their pending free agent position players and Addison Reed for them over the past two months. Yay, relievers!

It's been an exhausting year to be a Mets fan, more so than is typical. Though they'll have to exert some financial muscle to fill holes in the lineup, rotation, and bullpen (never a given with this team's owners), there are plenty of pieces here, both on the roster and on the disabled list, to see possible a rebound in 2018. Unfortunately, 2017 has been done for a while so please, please beat the Mets this week. They desperately could use that top 5 draft pick, their farm system is in shambles.

Fun fact

Since 2007, the Cubs are 21-9 (.700) against the Mets at Wrigley Field, the best winning percentage they have at home against any team. That includes a 9-1 mark since 2014 at Wrigley, with the only loss in that time frame a tough 2-1 defeat on July 19, 2016 with the Mets’ winning run driven in, in the ninth inning, by current Cubs catcher Rene Rivera.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Jose Quintana, LHP (9-11, 4.32 ERA, 1.275 WHIP, 3.93 FIP) vs. Robert Gsellman, RHP (6-6, 5.44 ERA, 1.569 WHIP, 4.97 FIP)

Wednesday: Jon Lester, LHP (10-7, 4.35 ERA, 1.299 WHIP, 3.98 FIP) vs. Matt Harvey, RHP (5-4, 5.82 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 6.09 FIP)

Thursday: Mike Montgomery, LHP (5-8, 3.64 ERA, 1.272 WHIP, 4.13 FIP) vs. Seth Lugo, RHP (6-4, 4.64 ERA, 1.392 WHIP, 4.00 FIP)

  • Jose Quintana’s numbers above include his 18 starts with the White Sox. With the Cubs: 10 starts, 5-3, 4.03 ERA, 1.190 WHIP, 3.78 FIP

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago

Wednesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, WGN

Thursday: 7:05 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Prediction

I hate to predict sweeps, so I won’t. But the Cubs appear to have the better pitching matchup all three days, and since the All-Star break the Mets are 10-16 on the road, and then there’s the Mets’ bad record at Wrigley over the last several seasons.

So I’ll just say the Cubs will win two of three, and perhaps with a bit of luck and a break here and there, perhaps a sweep could happen.

Up next

The Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game series that begins Friday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Mets?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    3
    (94 votes)
  • 36%
    2
    (81 votes)
  • 11%
    1
    (25 votes)
  • 9%
    0
    (22 votes)
222 votes total Vote Now