Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets Pick 8/27/19
Chicago Cubs (69-61) vs. New York Mets (67-63)
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, August 27
Where: Citi Field, New York
Moneyline: CHC + 100/NYM -110
Runline: Cubs +1.5/Mets -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.43 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) vs. Marcus Stroman (7-11, 3.18 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
All or Nothing
There’s now a sense that these two squads are going to go down to the wire for the National League wild card, with this series likely playing a significant role in deciding which one goes up against the Nationals for the postseason spot and which one starts preparing for 2020. Both teams are coming in off of getting swept, as the Cubs dropped three to the Nationals and the Mets lost three to Atlanta.
The Cubs still hold a two-game lead on the Mets, but that’s a precarious hold at best given how these teams have played as of late. While the Cubs have gone just 19-18 since July 14, the Mets are 25-12 in the same stretch, which has brought them to the brink of taking that second wild-card spot after seemingly being left for dead in July.
Break Down Here
Yu Darvish has been excellent at Wrigley Field as of late, helping the Cubs to a win in his past four starts at the Friendly Confines. Unfortunately for Darvish and the Cubs, this series isn’t at Wrigley, but at Citi Field. Away from home, Darvish hasn’t gotten the run support needed from his teammates, even though he’s pitched solidly. Chicago has lost all five of Darvish’s past five road starts, and the Cubs haven’t scored more than five runs in any of those games. Three times, Darvish has allowed four runs, while one game got blown by the bullpen and the last saw the Cubs waste a two-run performance over six innings by giving Darvish just one run for the contest.
Ironically, the only time in the past four months that Darvish has won on a visiting mound came at the home of his old team, the Dodgers, in a 2-1 victory. Otherwise, it hasn’t mattered how he’s pitched: the Cubs have come away with six one-run losses out of nine Darvish road starts since April.
Making the AdjustmentWhen a pitcher gets traded between leagues, it’s always a question as to what the adjustment process will be like, especially when he goes from the American League to the National League and has to learn how to bat as well as figure out a new group of hitters. Marcus Stroman might not have figured out hitting yet, but he’s picked up where he left off since the Mets acquired him from the Blue Jays. After two rocky outings against Pittsburgh and Washington, Stroman pitched well against Atlanta and Cleveland, holding them to a combined three runs in 9.1 innings. Even with his early struggles, the Mets managed to bail him out with a victory, giving New York a 4-0 mark in games Stroman has started. If he has officially gotten back to the form he showed in Toronto, the Mets’ opponents are in for a tough time moving forward.
The HistoricalsLong ago, this was an important National League rivalry, so much so that when the National League first split into divisions in 1969, the Cubs refused to support the arrangement unless they were kept in the NL East with the Mets, despite being geographically further west than both Atlanta and Cincinnati. In recent years, the teams met in the 2015 NLCS, with the Mets sweeping the Cubs to claim the pennant. The teams have split the first four games of their season series this year, giving the Mets a chance to win the season matchup for the first time since 2016 — the last time the Mets made the playoffs.
- The Cubs are 0-6 in their past six against the NL East.
- The Cubs are 2-8 in their past 10 Tuesday games.
- The Mets are 5-1 in their past six against the NL Central.
- The Mets are 11-2 in their past 13 home games against a right-hander.
- The under is 4-1 in the Mets’ past five games.
- The under is 4-0 when Darvish has started his past four series openers.
Weather ReportWith a first-pitch temperature of 76 degrees, this should be a fine night for baseball in Queens.
The Mets are still a hot team, their sweep in Atlanta notwithstanding. New York has played excellent baseball for the past six weeks and looks like it’s going to be in this thing right to the end. By contrast, the Cubs are struggling. They’ve been swept in two of their past four series, and the clubs that swept them (Philadelphia and Washington) are among the most likely teams to take their postseason spot from them.
Meanwhile, the Mets’ problems stemmed from the fact that they had to play the Braves, who have owned them all season long. Atlanta is 11-5 against New York, which would be a real problem if the Mets had to play the Braves in the postseason. However, that would be a problem the Mets would love to have, and with the starters, they’ve been putting out, it’s looking more likely that they’ll be in the playoff race to the end at minimum.
The Cubs traditionally play well in New York, but these aren’t the Mets of the past two seasons. I think they’re ready to step up and make this race really interesting, and I don’t trust the Cubs on the road this year. Give me the Mets.
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