New York Mets (-105) Take on Chicago Cubs (-115)
Behind a three-RBI night by Matt Mervis, the Chicago Cubs earned a 7-2 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday night. The loss snapped a modest five game winning streak for New York. Fortunately, if you heard our advice here at Gametime Sharks, you knew to pick the Cubs in the series opener.
The Mets will look to tie this series up on Wednesday night. Here’s all you need to know to cash in on the game!
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Cubs have Edge in Pitching Matchup
Rather than pitch expected starter Kodai Senga in last night’s contest, the Mets turned to right-hander Tylor Megill. The move did not pay off, as Megill allowed 6 runs (4 ER), including two homers, in just 3.2 innings of work.
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Senga is now expected to start Wednesday’s game, while the Cubs’ will send Marcus Stroman to the mound.
If you read the preview of Tuesday’s game, you know this writer is not confident in Senga capability on the road. Senga’s road ERA is 6.30 through 20.0 innings of work. In each of his last three road appearances, the 30-year-old pitcher has allowed at least 4 runs in no more than 5.0 innings of work.
In this game, he will have to face a capable Cubs lineup that has excelled against right handed pitching. The Cubs have the fifth highest batting average (.254) amongst National League teams when facing right handed pitchers. Similarly, they have ripped 39 homers against righties, which is tied for 6th most in the NL. If Senga’s road struggles continue on Wednesday, the Cubs will be sure to take advantage.
Conversely, the Mets’ offense must deal with Cubs’ SP Marcus Stroman. Though the right-hander enjoyed a nearly perfect start to his 2023 campaign, he has been somewhat inconsistent during the month of May.
The Cubs are 3-6 in Stroman’s starts, 1-5 in his last six appearances. While this is rarely due to Stroman’s shortcomings, he has suffered his fair share of blunders–most notably, his May 14th blowup against the Twins (2.2 IP, 6 ER).
Stroman has, however, pitched exceptionally well at Wrigley this season, only allowing 9 ER in 29.0 innings. The Mets will be hard pressed to push runs across the plate Wednesday night, as hitters are only batting .190 against him when on the road.
Mets Bats Sluggish in Opener
The Cubs’ lineup looked red hot Tuesday night, as all but two of their starting hitters earned base knocks. Their efforts totaled 7 runs, and forced the Mets’ into 2 defensive errors.
Conversely, the Mets’ lineup was off to a slow start in this series. While the team earned 6 hits in the ballgame (3 coming from Brandon Nimmo), the Mets finished 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
It is unlikely this stat will improve much on Wednesday, as Stroman has been exceptionally strong this season with runners in scoring position. Hitters are only batting .190 against him in such situations.
While the Mets lineup looks better on paper than the Cubs’, their struggles in Tuesday’s ball game, compiled with Stroman’s exceptional play, leaves one more confident rolling with the Baby Bears on Wednesday.
I didn’t have confidence in Senga last night, and that hasn’t changed after the Mets’ disappointing showing. Stromann will get through at least 5.0, and the Cubs will chase the Mets’ starter from this one early.
Pick: Cubs (-115)
Over Under 8.5: Over