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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Mets series preview

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The Mets have all kinds of injuries they are trying to overcome.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Mets have so many players on the disabled list (11 currently, by my count) that you might not recognize the team the Cubs will play beginning Thursday night.

Thus I asked Chris McShane, managing editor of our SB Nation Mets site Amazin’ Avenue, to update us on his team.

It’s been an adventurous week-and-a-half for the Mets, to put it mildly. As you’re probably aware, the Mets jumped out to the best start in franchise history with an 11-1 record before struggling mightily in the weeks that followed.

If you’re not super familiar with the roster, it might look a little strange for this series. The Cubs won’t see Noah Syndergaard because he’s on the disabled list with a finger injury, and there’s a chance they won’t see Steven Matz, either, because he suffered a finger injury of his own. Matz did it swinging in the bat, which was also the case when Jacob deGrom hyperextended his elbow earlier in the season. What kind of pitching the Mets will get from their rotation in these four games is anyone’s guess.

On the offensive side of things, yes, Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista are on the Mets’ roster. Both have been hitting much better than expected, with Bautista on fire since the Mets picked him up following his release by the Braves. Whether or not either player sustains useful levels of offensive production remains to be seen, but they’ve both already done more than expected since their respective acquisitions.

The best thing the Mets have going for them right now, though, is what they’re getting from their young position players. Brandon Nimmo has been one of the best hitters in baseball, and he’s doing a little bit of everything—getting hit by pitches, drawing walks, hitting for power with line drives and a handful of home runs. Throw in the fact that both Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto have been playing much better baseball over the past month, and there’s at least something to feel good about as a Mets fan. Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier are still on the disabled list, alongside some other players, but the young trio might draw most of your attention in these four games.

Fun fact

The Mets have had only two winning seasons in their last nine — both playoff years (2015 and 2016).

Pitching matchups

Thursday: Jose Quintana, LHP (5-4, 4.78 ERA, 1.481 WHIP, 4.68 FIP) vs. Seth Lugo, RHP (1-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.010 WHIP, 3.24 FIP)

Friday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (3-4, 4.10 ERA, 1.759 WHIP, 4.75 FIP) vs. Zack Wheeler, RHP (2-4, 5.40 ERA, 1.480 WHIP, 4.01 FIP)

Saturday: Mike Montgomery, LHP (1-1, 4.35 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, 3.73 FIP) vs. Jacob deGrom, RHP (4-0, 1.52 ERA, 1.010 WHIP, 2.12 FIP)

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (4-2, 2.37 ERA, 1.193 WHIP, 4.37 FIP) vs. TBD (possibly Steven Matz, LHP, 2-3, 3.80 ERA, 1.289 WHIP, 5.65 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 6:10 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago

Friday: 6:10 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago Plus

Saturday: 6:15 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional — coverage map)

Sunday: 12:10 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and New York markets)

Prediction

Noah Syndergaard wasn’t scheduled to pitch in this series (and is on the DL now anyway, as noted above), so I think the pitching matchups in general are reasonably even. The Cubs have not played well in Citi Field since 2015 — 4-8 including the NLCS losses, but the Mets are 5-9 in their last 14 home games. The Cubs will likely lose to deGrom, but win the other three and take three of four.

Up next

The Cubs have Monday off, then host the Philies in a three-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Tuesday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Mets?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    4
    (29 votes)
  • 43%
    3
    (84 votes)
  • 31%
    2
    (62 votes)
  • 6%
    1
    (13 votes)
  • 3%
    0
    (7 votes)
195 votes total Vote Now