NY Mets (49-42) at Chicago Cubs (55-36)
When: Monday, July 18th 2016
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The New York Mets look to continue their mastery over the Chicago Cubs when the two clubs meet in the opener of a three-game set on Monday. The Mets crushed the Cubs a few weeks ago by sweeping them in New York and outscored them 32-11. The Mets also hit 12 homeruns in that series and completely dominated tonight’s starter, Jon Lester. Asdrubal Cabrera went deep twice in the Mets’ 10-2 victory over the Cubs on July 1st and also homered on Sunday as New York beat the Phillies 5-0. James Loney also went deep on July 1st and had six hits, four RBIs and scored two runs in the series. While the Mets are coming off a dominating pitching performance by Jacob deGrom, the Cubs were on the wrong end of one as Cole Hamels helped Texas salvage the finale of their interleague series with a 4-1 victory on Sunday. The Cubs still hold an eight game lead over St. Louis in the National League Central despite the media questioning whether its time to panic or not.
Steven Matz will be looking for his first victory in eight starts when he takes the mound Monday. Matz allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings of a 3-2 setback to Washington on July 10th. He was taken deep for the sixth time in five outings, with two coming at the hands of Chicago in a no-decision on June 30th. Matz surrendered three runs but also issued three walks in 5.1 innings against the Cubs.
Lester has answered a five-game winning streak by going winless in his last four including that horrific night in New York on July 3rd. He allowed a season-high eight runs on nine hits – including three homers – in a career-worst 1.1 innings of a 14-3 setback. Lester, however, enjoyed success against the Mets in his previous three outings, posting a 2-0 mark with a 2.50 ERA.
The Mets bats have cooled off a bit in the last two series and Lester will want to atone from his miserable outing last time against them. The Cubs are 28-15 at home and the Mets have lost 8 of their last 12 on the road with all four victories coming against Philadelphia and Atlanta.
Pick: Cubs -1.5 +150