National League Showdown: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Ryan K

The Cubs have been on a nice little roll as of late and it is starting to reflect in the standings. After winning their sixth game in a row on Monday, a 7-4 win over the Mets, they have now extended their NL Central lead to 4.5 games over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets on the other hand; well, they are just trying to finish out the season. They currently at 15.5 games out and have no chance for the playoffs. In fact, they are still even discussing deals, as reports Monday indicate that the Phillies and Mets are discussing Jose Bautista, who was claimed by the Phillies on waivers. Still, the Mets (58-73) will match up with the Cubs (77-53) on Tuesday for the second game when the Mets travel to Wrigley Field. The Mets will send ace Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.71 ERA) to the mound to square of with lefty Cole Hamels (9-9, 3.82 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 pm ET.

The money line for Tuesday night’s game is set at the New York Mets +112 and the Chicago Cubs -122.

Mets Trying To Finish Out Disappointing Season

When your starting rotation starts with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, you have a pretty good chance of being good. Somewhere, though, the Mets missed this memo. They have been inconsistent all season and it has spoiled a Cy Young caliber season from deGrom. Tuesday night’s starter has gone 8-8 this season with a 1.71 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .205 against him. In 174 innings he has 214 strikeouts, 40 walks and 8 home runs allowed.

In his last three starts, deGrom has gone 21.2 innings, allowing 3 combined runs and striking out 31. If the voters can look past the mediocre record, he should have as good a chance at edging out the Nationals’ Max Scherzer as the National League Cy Young Award winner.

Offensively, there just isn’t much to love right now with the Mets. One name that has been decent as of late, though, is Jeff McNeil. The 26-year-old is hitting .337/.375/.490 with a .865 OPS over the last 30 days. In that time he has 5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 10 runs batted in, 14 runs scored and 3 stolen bases.

Cubs Look To Keep Streak Going

The Cubs finally seem to be clicking which might be scary for the rest of baseball as the playoffs approach. While the starting rotation has left something to be desired for most of the season, the trade for Cole Hamels has been a solid one for the Cubs thus far. In 5 games with the Cubs, Hamels is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .212 against him. In 34 innings with the team, he has 30 strikeouts, 8 walks and has not allowed a home run yet. If he continues to show vintage Cole Hamels, he may very well be a game one starter in the postseason.

Offensively, Anthony Rizzo has really been swinging the bat well lately. In the last 30 days he is hitting .289/.381/.557 with a .937 OPS. In that time he has 8 home runs, 18 runs batted in and has scored 16 runs. It also doesn’t hurt that he has had success against JacobdeGrom in his career. In 16 at-bats, Rizzo is hitting .375 against the righty with a homer and 3 runs batted in.

Cubs Take Game Two Of The Series

This one is a tough one to choose. Jacob deGrom has been one of, if not the, best pitchers in the entire National League this year. Despite having an ERA of 1.71, though, his record is only 8-8. Why? Because the Mets can’t score runs and their bullpen can’t hold leads. I think he will once again pitch well, but once again, I think the Mets will not be able to capitalize on it and will let another one slip through their fingers down the stretch. Take the Cubs in this one at -122.

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