New York Mets (63-81 SU, 63-81 RL, 81-51-12 O/U) vs Chicago Cubs (78-66 SU, 60-84 RL, 68-69-7 O/U)
When: 8:05 PM EDT, Thursday, September 14, 2017
Where: Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois
Lines: Chicago -210/ New York +195
Thursday evening bases and the National League East will square off with the National League Central as the New York Mets rumble with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois in game three of their three game series. The Mets are 11-4 the last 15 in this series overall, but just 3-10 in their last 13 games here in Chicago. Pitching Probables: Seth Lugo (6-4, 4.64 ERA) gets the nod for the Mets and he will be opposed by Mike Montgomery (5-8, 3.64 ERA).
Gsellman Struggles in Game On Loss
The Mets just want this season to end, so they can get back their pitchers that have helped them over the last few years. The pitching is the real reason why this team will not be heading to the postseason this year. Robert Gsellman has struggled for the team this year and had another bad outing in the Mets’ 8-3 loss to the Cubs in game one of this series. He allowed four ERs on five hits and five walks in just 4.0 innings of to drop to 6-7 with a 5.58 ERA on the year. Just another youngster that was called up a bit earlier than expected due to all the injuries the Mets have suffered this year to their pitching staff. The Mets really have to hope for better health next year. New York has now allowed 18 runs in their last two games after allowed just seven total runs in their previous four games and prior to that, they had allowed 20 runs in their previous three games. Inconsistent. The Mets have gone 30-40 on the road and have averaged 5.00 rpg and have allowed 5.47 rpg in those games. Taking the mound for the Mets in this one will be Seth Lugo and he has gone 6-4 with a 4.64 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) on the year, including 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in his last three starts and 4-3 with a 5.75 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) on the road. Lugo has gone 11-5 with a 3.96 ERA in 22 career starts overall. He has not started against the Cubs in his career, but he has made two appearances out of the pen against them. He allowed no ERs and just two hits in four innings of work in those appearances.
The Mets have been a bit below average on offense this year as they come in ranked 18th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.62 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 4.89 while also ranking 29th in WHIP at 1.48.
Cubs Are Not A Lock For The Postseason
Last year, it was all about the Cubs as they ran away with the National League Central title on their way to winning it all and breaking the 108-year-old curse. This year it was expected to be more of the same, but that just hasn’t been the case as they have been very inconsistent at the plate and on the mound and it has been reflected in the fact that they are just 12 games over .500 so far, after finishing 45 games over .500 last year. The Cubs won the Central by 17.5 games a year ago, but as of this writing, they have just a 2.0 game lead over the Cardinals and a 2.5 game lead over the Brewers in the division. The Cubs could very well go from on top of the baseball world to missing the playoffs altogether. The final weeks of the season will be very interesting as they have a three-game set at home against the Cardinals after this series. They then have two in Tampa, before four in both St Louis and Milwaukee, followed three at home against the Reds to close out the year. The Cubs do not have a favorable schedule for winning the division and it will be fun to see how this plays out the rest of the way. The Cubs have gone 41-32 here at home for the year and have averaged 5.12 rpg and have allowed 4.73 rpg in those games. Getting the nod for the Cubs in this one will be Mike Montgomery and he has gone 5-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 39 games overall, including 4-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 12 games as a starter and 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in his last three starts. Montgomery has gone 9-12 with a 4.35 ERA in 35 career starts overall, while against the Mets in his career he has gone 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in one start.
The Cubs have been a good offensive team so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.97 rpg, while also ranking 18th in hitting at .253 and 9th in homers with 202. On the mound, they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 10th in the league in ERA at 4.08, while also ranking 8th in WHIP at 1.29.
New York is:
- 12-41 in their last 53 vs. a team with a winning record
- 8-20 in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 38-17 in their last 55 home games vs. a team with a losing record
- 25-12 in their last 37 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
The Mets are just playing out the string and would love to play spoiler in this game against the Cubs, who are trying to fend off both the Cardinals and Brewers in their division. The Cubs really need this game as they have a very tough slate of games coming up, with 11 of their next 13 games coming against the Brewers and Cards. This is not a game they can afford to lose. Mike Montgomery has struggled this year, but the Mets have gone just 1-11 in their last 12 games vs. a left-handed starter. Seth Lugo has a 5.75 ERA on the road and the Cubs’ offense should have a field day against him here. Too much at stake here for the Cubs to come out flat in this game. They must win it and will win it rather easily.