New York Mets (63-80 SU, 63-80 RL, 80-51-12 O/U) vs Chicago Cubs (77-66 SU, 59-84 RL, 69-67-7 O/U)
When: 8:05 PM EDT, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Where: Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois
Lines: Chicago -290/ New York +255
The National League East meets the National League Central this evening as the New York Mets take on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois in game two of their three game series. Mets lead the season series 2-1. Pitching Probables: Matt Harvey (5-4, 5.82 ERA) will get the call for the Mets, while the Cubs will be sending out Jon Lester (10-7, 4.35 ERA).
Mets Need Pitching & Hitting To Be On Same Page
The Mets have had their issues on the mound all year and if they get back to challenging for a postseason berth next year, they will need their pitching to return. The offense has been up and down this year, but when it is right, it is a good offense as they have shown of late. The Mets came into their game on Tuesday night with the Cubs having averaged a solid 5.60 rpg in their last 10 games. They have gone just 5-5 in those games and that is because they have allowed 5.70 rpg in the 10 games. Makes for some exciting ball, but over the long haul most teams need their pitching and hitting to be on the same page or they just won’t make it to the postseason. The Mets will need their pitching and hitting to be on the same page next year. New York has gone 30-39 on the road and have averaged 5.03 rpg and have allowed 5.43 rpg in those games. Matt Harvey will toe the rubber for the Mets in this one and he has gone 5-4 with a 5.82 ERA in 15 starts on the year, including 1-1 with a 10.64 ERA in his last three starts and 2-3 with a 5.58 ERA in eight starts on the road. Harvey has gone 3-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 10 starts during Sept/ Oct and he is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs, including 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two starts here at Wrigley Field.
The Mets have been a bit below average on offense this year as they come in ranked 17th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.64 rpg, while also ranking 21st in hitting at .250 and 6th in homers with 207. On the mound, they have been poor as they come in ranked 28th in the league in ERA at 4.87 while also ranking 29th in WHIP at 1.47.
Where Did The Offense Go?
The Chicago Cubs were rolling along and actually built up a 5.0 game lead in their division, but they have been struggling of late and were just swept in a three-game series here at home by the Milwaukee Brewers. The lead for the Cubs in the division is now down to just two games over those Brewers. This is a team with many offensive weapons and that offense really started to show up after the break, but the offense has been non-existent of late. In the series against the Brewers, the Cubs scored just three runs total in the three games and have now averaged just 2.00 rpg over their last eight games. THis is not a good time for their offense to leave them as they are far from a lock of getting into the postseason and they will need that offense in this series as the Mets have been hot of late at the plate and will score runs. The Cubs have gone 40-32 at home and have averaged 5.08 rpg and have allowed 4.75 rpg in those games. The Cubs will be sending out Jon Lester and he has gone 10-7 with a 4.35 ERA in 28 starts on the year, including 2-0 with am 8.53 ERA in his last three starts and 5-3 with a 4.60 ERA in 16 starts here at home. Lester has gone 34-14 with a 2.93 ERA in 59 games (58 starts) during Sept/ Oct in his career and he is 23-14 with a 3.29 ERA in 52 career starts here at Wrigley Field, while against the Mets in his career overall he has gone 4-1 with a 3.97 ERA in six starts.
The Cubs have been a good offensive team so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.94 rpg, while also ranking 18th in hitting at .253 and 9th in homers with 199. On the mound they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 10th in the league in ERA at 4.09, while also ranking 8th in WHIP at 1.29.
New York is:
- 6-20 in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record
- 3-14 in their last 17 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- 42-20 in their last 62 home games vs. a team with a losing record
- 9-3 their last 12 home games in this series
The Mets have been a hot offensive team of late and Jon Lester has not been the starter that he was last year. He is 5-3 at home for the year, but with a 4.60 ERA. Still, he rates the big edge over Matt Harvey, who has been bad this year as he is 2-3 with a 5.58 ERA on the road and has gone 1-1 with a 10.64 ERA in his last three starts. The Cubs have struggled on offense of late, but they are now back in desperation mode and I look for their offense to tag him for some runs. The Mets took two of three at home, but Chicago really needs this game, so I look for Lester to come up with a decent outing, while the offense does the rest.
Pick: Chicago -1.5
This series means a ton more to the Cubs than it does to the Mets as Chicago needs to fend off the Brewers in the Central Division race. The Cubs also need to get their offense back on track or they could miss the postseason altogether. They have a shot at getting their offense back on track in this one as they will be facing Matt Harvey, who has a 5.38 ERA on the road and a 10.64 ERA in his last three starts. His road starts this year have averaged 11.75 rpg. Jon Lester has gone 2-0 in his last three starts, but he has an 8.53 ERA in those games and those last three starts have averaged 19.67 rpg. Lester also has a 4.60 ERA at home and his home starts have averaged 11.50 rpg. This game should be a high-scoring one.