While Kodai Senga pitched better than this writer predicted (5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 K), his efforts were not enough to tie this series up.
After dropping each of the first two games, the New York Mets will try to salvage their roadtrip with a Thursday night win in Wrigley. Here’s your guide to the best bets for the game!
Moneyline: NYM (105) CHC (-115)
Spread: Mets -1.5 (+170)
O/U: Over 8 (-115) Under 8 (-105)
It has been a season to forget thus far for Carrasco. In 4 appearances, the right hander has amassed an ERA of 8.68. He has failed to pitch beyond 5.0 innings in each of his starts, and in all but one, he has given up at least 5 earned runs.
While these statistics are obviously inflated by the small sample size (he’s only pitched 18.2 innings so far this season) this is not a recipe for success. I’d take the over on his 2.5 earned runs allowed (+125).
On the other side, Kyle Hendricks is set to make his first major league start since suffering a shoulder strain on July 5th, 2022. Though many have speculated his non-surgical recovery has been a great success, it remains to be seen what Hendricks can bring to the table this season.
While Hendricks’ career has been remarkable to say the least—remember his dominant performance against the Dodgers in the 2016 NLCS?—over the last two seasons, his production has regressed. In 2021, he finished the year with a 4.77 ERA, and, prior to his season ending injury, he was on pace to finish 2022 with a 4.80 ERA.
This was due, in part, to a dip in his pitch velocity. However, many analysts have speculated that fastball speed has risen some during his recovery.
This being his first start in nearly a year, I suspect the Cubs will keep Hendricks on a very short leash. If the Mets can chase him from this one early, they may have an opportunity to tack runs on against the Chicago bullpen.
The Over is yet to cash in during this series. While I am typically one to follow trends, I suspect that streak will end Thursday.
As mentioned above, neither of these starting pitchers have been especially reliable as of late. Carrasco has allowed at least 5 runs in 3 of his 4 starts this season, a stat I expect will continue against a hot Cubs batting order.
Similarly, I am hesitant to put much stock into what Hendricks will be capable of in this game. Even if he pitches well, it seems unlikely David Ross will let him pitch too deep into this game, regardless of the results he is accruing.
I suspect both clubs will have opportunities to score. 8 runs feels a bit too low, and I would confidently take the over (-115).
Prop Bet of the Night
Nico Hoerher has earned 5 hits in his last 5 games. He also has a .667 career average against Carrasco. Though the sample size is small (just 3 plate appearances) I’d take him to get over 0.5 hits in this one.
Truth be told, I’m not really sure what to expect from Hendricks in this game. But, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll get from Carrasco. While I do think he’ll settle in at some point this season, I doubt it’ll be against this Chicago Cubs lineup. That, in addition to a depleted Mets’ bullpen, spells trouble for New York fans.
Pick: Cubs (-115)