NY Mets (-115) take on Chicago Cubs (-105)
It’s been a bit of a rough start for the New York Mets in 2023, but after earning a 5-1 record over last week’s homestand, perhaps the team is beginning to turn a corner. The Mets have the Cubs this week in Chicago.
Verlander and Schuerzer looked as good as ever on Sunday, allowing only a single run in their combined 14 IP in the double header. Big at-bats by Francisco Lindor and ‘Polar Bear’ Pete Alonso may also imply the offense has found its footing.
However, after the strong showing in Queens, the Mets must travel to the windy city to take on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The series is set to begin Tuesday, May 23rd.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on cashing in on that game.
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Pitching Matchup Favors Cubs
Smyly has been strong thus far in 2023. Through 50.1 innings of work, the 33 year old has posted an impressive 2.86 ERA with just a 0.93 WHIP. He has earned a 4-1 record through his first 9 starts.
Expect Smyly’s success to continue Tuesday evening. The Mets have struggled against southpaws in 2023, posting just a .216 AVG and a .645 OPS in 19 games against left handed starters.
While Smyly’s proficiency will be a real issue for the Mets in this game, their greatest concern is Senga’s road splits.
Despite displaying strong performances at Citi Field, Senga’s road ERA is 6.30 through 20.0 innings of work. In his last road start (May 11th at Reds) he allowed 5 earned runs on 8 hits in just 5.0 innings of work. In two road starts before that, he allowed 4 runs in 5.0 innings at Giants on April 20th and 4 runs in just 4.2 IP at Athletics on April 14th.
Keep in mind also that these results are coming at the hands of offenses less prolific than the Cubs’. Unless Senga can alter his recent trends, don’t be surprised to see the Baby Bears take advantage of any mistakes.
While the pitching matchup certainly favors the Cubs, the Mets do have a slight advantage in terms of familiarity. This being Senga’s first year in the majors, no one in the Cubs’ starting lineup has faced him before. Conversely, six Mets starters have a career .250+ average against Smyly.
Notably, Edu Escobar boasts a .571 AVG with 4 home runs in his 14 career at bats against the lefty. If you’re planning on playing FanDuel’s Dinger Tuesday, betting on Escobar to go yard might not be a bad idea.
Recent Success Favors Mets
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The biggest argument for “Why You should Take the Mets,” is these teams’ recent track records. The Mets are currently riding a 5 game win streak! Meanwhile the Cubs are faltering.
The Cubs have dropped 7 of their last 8 games. During that stretch, their pitching has allowed opponents to score 7.75 runs per game, while their offense has only amassed 3.88 runs per game.
However, it is worth noting that the Cubs are coming off of three straight road series against competent opponents in the Twins, Astros, and Phillies. Any team in the majors would be hard pressed to survive that trip with a decent record.
Conversely, the Mets’ win streak might not be as impressive as New York fans may hope. While wins over the Rays and Guardians are not easy to earn, each of those wins have come by a single run. While Mets fans will happily take wins where they can get them, their recent success should not be misconstrued as some dominant resurgence.
Sure, the Mets have been especially impressive as of late, but this pitching matchup is too lopsided to ignore. Don’t be surprised if Smyly goes deep into this game. Be shocked if Senga gets through 5.
Pick: Chicago Cubs -105
Over/Under 9: Under