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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Mets series preview

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The Mets arrive in Chicago having lost six of their last nine games.

Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Mets used to be a hated rival of the Cubs, but for me anyway, that rivalry faded when the teams were put in separate divisions 25 years ago. Now they play only six or seven times a year instead of 18.

The Mets are struggling and they’ve lost several key players to injury.

For more on the Mets, here’s Chris McShane, managing editor of our SB Nation Mets site Amazin’ Avenue.

The Mets are coming into this series at their lowest point of the season yet. They’re now in fourth place in the National League East, and they dropped three of four to the Cardinals last weekend before dropping two of three to the Braves this week. And they’re starting Walker Lockett in the series opener in Chicago, as Noah Syndergaard is on the injured list with a hamstring injury. The bullpen is a nightmare, and that’s not surprising since the team essentially stopped adding relievers after getting Edwin Diaz from the Mariners and signing Jeurys Familia, save for the signing of former Cub Justin Wilson — who has barely pitched this year because of arm issues — late in the offseason.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The trio of Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Michael Conforto is about as good as it gets when it comes to young hitters. Alonso is capable of hitting one to or beyond Waveland Avenue. On top of that, Dom Smith has been excellent at the plate in limited playing time. Despite having those guys, the offense hasn’t been dominant or even above average when it comes to runs scored per game.

Even if the Mets get good outings from their starting pitchers and healthy production from their offense, though, there’s just no guarantee that the Cubs will be out of any game if the bullpen is involved.

Fun fact

Since 2015, the Cubs are 19-8 against the Mets, including 11-2 at Wrigley Field. That’s their best record against any N.L. team in that time frame. (Excluding the 2015 NLCS, of course.)

Pitching matchups

Thursday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (3-1, 3.60 ERA, 1.457 WHIP, 5.17 FIP) vs. Walker Lockett, RHP (making his 2019 season debut)

Friday: Yu Darvish, RHP (2-3, 4.65 ERA, 1.387 WHIP, 5.06 FIP) vs. Jason Vargas, LHP (3-3, 3.74 ERA, 1.337 WHIP, 4.34 FIP)

Saturday: Jose Quintana, LHP (4-6, 3.87 ERA, 1.339 WHIP, 3.81 FIP) vs. Zack Wheeler, RHP (5-5, 4.94 ERA, 1.331 WHIP, 3.83 FIP)

Sunday: Cole Hamels, LHP (6-2, 2.86 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 3.32 FIP) vs. Jacob deGrom (4-6, 3.26 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, 3.21 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 7:05 p.m. CT, WGN, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Mets market territories)

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Mets market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Mets market territories)

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago

Prediction

The Mets are a bad team on the road — 15-25 overall and 4-13 since May 15. Plus, as noted above, they have lost one of their best starting pitchers, Noah Syndergaard, to the injured list. The Cubs will take three of four.

Up next

The Cubs host the Braves for a four-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Mets?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    4
    (73 votes)
  • 48%
    3
    (115 votes)
  • 14%
    2
    (35 votes)
  • 2%
    1
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    0
    (6 votes)
236 votes total Vote Now