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Mets vs. Cubs, 7:40 ET
I was able to steal another game on the diamond last night as the Angels took down the Red Sox. It was certainly sweaty enough as the game was just a 2-1 victory. Still, a win is a win. Now we look towards a different series to take another unit off the books. Tonight, we focus on the series opener between the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs.
Talk about two teams going in opposite directions right now. Overall on the season, they are closer than you might realize or think, but right now, the Mets are trending up. The Cubs are trending down. The Mets have won their past five games but the most interesting part about those wins, to me, is that they all have been one-run victories. Those are also all games they played at home. They are below .500 on the road at the moment. The Cubs have lost four of five games, but it has been even worse than that. They had a nine-game road trip and went just 2-7 on the trip and are 3-10 over their past 13 games. Before the road trip started they were a game under .500 and they are now at 20-26 on the season. They’ve suffered through some injuries, but this is still worse than you’d expect them to play.
To keep themselves rolling, the Mets have to rely on the right hand of Kodai Senga. He’s been solid for the Mets so far this year and there isn’t much reason to believe he won’t continue it here. However, Senga has struggled on the road, especially compared to his home starts. He has made four road starts and allowed 14 earned runs. He also has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his past three road starts. The Mets are giving him a ton of run support though. Drew Smyly has been quite a pleasant surprise for the Cubs this season. He is throwing to a 2.86 ERA and doesn’t have very drastic splits this season. In fact, outside of his first start of the season, he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start. He did have one start against the Marlins and went just 3.1 innings, but still has been extremely reliable.
I think the Cubs are the better side to play in this one, but I’ll take them through five innings. I do think it is important that they are playing in Wrigley. The Mets have struggled on the road and despite them playing good baseball currently, I think it makes more sense to take Chicago. The shift to the road could be bad for the Mets and Senga has struggled. I’m taking the Cubs and Smyly through five at -115.
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