The Chicago Cubs wrap up their three-game series with the New York Mets in Queens on Wednesday night. The Cubs are playing out the string for the rest of 2022 and hope to avoid a last-place finish in the NL Central. As for the Mets, they are in a dog fight with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East Division as well as the coveted second seed for the NL Playoffs, which would give them a first-round bye in the new format. The pitching matchup for Wednesday's finale will be left-hander Drew Smyly (6-8, 3.57) of the Cubs likely taking on Mets lefty David Peterson (7-4, 3.47). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm EST.
Spoiler RoleThe Cubs are in the midst of a major overhaul as they look to add major pieces to both their everyday lineup and their pitching rotation this offseason. It has now been six seasons since the Cubs' magical World Series run of 2016 and the team has been slowly chipping away all the key pieces from their championship glory years. In the midst of their rebuild, the Cubs find themselves 24 games out of first place in the NL Central heading into Tuesday night and with what will certainly be a top-six pick in next season's MLB Amateur Draft. On Monday night, the Cubs upended the Mets for just their third win in ten games. On Tuesday night, the Cubs continued to play their role as spoilers brilliantly, upsetting Jacob deGrom and the Mets 4-1. Ian Happ and David Bote both homered and the Cubs got six shutout innings from Adrian Sampson to pick up the win.
Javier Assad earns his first career win! 👏 pic.twitter.com/u1LTzc4mnl— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 13, 2022
The Cubs' offense has lacked punch in recent weeks. Monday night's five-run 'outburst' was just the second time in the last ten games that the team has scored five runs or more. The Cubs are hitting a respectable .248 in that stretch but have lacked timely hitting, averaging just three runs per game over that span. On the mound on Tuesday night will be left-hander Drew Smyly. Smyly has five quality starts this season among his 20 starts. In his last five starts, Smyly has a solid 3.25 ERA despite just a 1-2 record. Smyly has made one start against the Mets this season going 4.1 innings and allowing five hits and one earned run.
Fight to the FinishDespite their sizable lead earlier this season, the Mets assuredly always knew the Braves would make their move in the NL East Division. After briefly falling behind the Braves for a day, the Mets have regrouped and have a one-and-a-half game lead heading into last night's game. On Monday night, the Mets lost 5-2 for their first loss in eight starts by Chris Bassitt. On Tuesday night, the Mets looked to regroup against the Cubs with their ace, Jacob deGrom, on the hill. The Mets bats were held in check on Tuesday night with just four hits in a 4-1 loss to the Cubs despite a 10-strikeout performance by deGrom in just six innings of work.
The Mets are just 5-5 in their last ten games but have had the good fortune of a surprising three-game losing streak from the Braves to hang on to first place in the NL East. New York is just one game in front of the Braves in the loss column with just twenty games left in the season. The Mets have not officially named a starter for Wednesday night but they will likely turn to left-hander David Peterson. Peterson will be pitching on a normal four days rest on Wednesday. In his last five starts, Peterson is 2-2 with a 3.24 ERA while throwing 25 innings and giving up 28 hits. Peterson is about to pass 100 innings pitched in a season for the first time in his career. Peterson has faced the Cubs one time this season, going five innings and allowing three hits without a run in a no-decision. If the Mets decide to hold back Peterson, given his workload this season, they would likely turn to right-hander Trevor Williams in a spot start.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The newly formatted MLB playoff format should make for more competitive baseball down the stretch. While both the Mets and Braves are nearly assured of making the playoffs at this point, the division winner will likely earn a first-round bye in the NL Playoffs. With that in mind, the Mets have every incentive to win the division and earn that first-round bye. With older pitchers like Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco, the Mets would benefit more than most teams from less games in the playoffs. With that in mind, the Mets need series wins over teams like the Cubs. After losing the opener, the pressure is on New York to take care of business in the final two games. On Wednesday, the Mets will likely turn to Peterson to slow down the Cubs' attack. The Mets may be motivated to start Peterson given the Cubs' 15-26 record this season against left-handed starters. The Mets, on the other hand, are 28-20 against left-handed starters. The Mets' offense will be a bit hampered with the loss of Sterling Marte due to a finger issue but they have enough firepower to take down the Cubs in an important game for the Mets.
Take the Mets with the money line.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Cubs are struggling to put up big offensive numbers as of late. The Cubs are averaging just three runs per game in their last ten games and are just 2-7-1 to the over in their last ten games. The Mets have one of the best offenses in baseball but will struggle to put up similar numbers without Marte in the two-hole for the foreseeable future. The Mets will play very tight to the vest going forward, anxious to earn that first-round bye and increase their odds to advance in the playoffs. Expect a low-scoring, tight game in this one, and the Mets are more than willing to turn to closer Edwin Diaz by the 8th inning.
Take the under.