TV & Radio Section
Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets, 6/20/19 8:05 PM ET Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, TV: Chicago (WGN, SAP WGN, MLBN (out-of-market only)), New York (SNY Radio: Chicago (670 The Score), New York (WCBHS 880, ESPN Deportes 1050)
The Cubs and Mets open their four game saga tonight at Wrigley Field at 8:05 PM ET. Both teams are 4-6 in their last 10, but the Cubs come into tonight’s game with the superior record at 40-33. The Mets are 35-39 and currently in 4th place in the NL East. This is the first time the two teams have matched up on the year. They’ll get another go at things in August at Citi Field.
Since Hendricks has been put on the IL, the Cubs will be sending Tyler Chatwood to the bump. He has made one spot start earlier in the season on April 21 against the Diamondbacks. He threw 6 shutout innings in that start. On the year, he has an ERA of 3.60.
Walker Lockett will make his Mets debut tonight. He missed his first six starts of the Triple-A season with a right arm injury, but posted an ERA of 3.28 since. The Cubs are notoriously bad at hitting pitchers making debuts of any kind (see Peter Lambert of the Rockies), so there’s a good chance Lockett leaves tonight’s start with some confidence.
Chicago Cubs Starting Lineup
1. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Baez (R) SS
5. Jason Heyward (L) RF
6. Addison Russell (R) 2B
7. Victor Caratini (S) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
9. Tyler Chatwood (R) P
The Cubs are coming off a 1-1 split with their cross-town rival White Sox. As is the story for much of the year, their bats looked desolate in the first game then came alive in the second game resulting in a 7-3 win. It may seem obvious, but the games where the Cubs are able to put out quality pitching and just hit like the talent in their lineup suggests they will, they win games.
Contreras went deep twice for the Cubs yesterday, accounting for 5 of their 7 RBIs. He hit a grand-slam in the bottom of the first. There were 11 hits total for the Cubs. The Cubs put up 11 hits total in yesterday’s game, but their hitting has been so off and on this year that that’s no indication of how they’ll hit the ball tonight. With limited ABs against Lockett in the past, Heyward, Rizzo, and Schwarber are all 2-3 off the right-hander.
Chatwood will make his second start of the season tonight. Usually a bullpen arm, it’s always an interesting thing to see how he’ll fair. In his last outing as a starter he went 6.0 innings giving up no runs. In 41.0 innings pitched against the Mets in his career, he has an ERA of 4.17 and has given up 33 hits.
New York Mets Starting Lineup
1. Amed Rosario (R) SS
2. Dominic Smith (L) LF
3. Pete Alonso (R) 1B
4. Michael Conforto (L) RF
5. Wilson Ramos (R) C
6. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
7. Adeiny Hechavarria (R) 2B
8. Juan Lagares (R) CF
9. Walker Lockett (R) P
Currently 8.5 games out of first in the NL East, the Mets need to get things turned around quickly if they want to make a run at the post-season. They have the talent on their team, it’s just a matter of executing. That being said, the Mets went 0-6 against the Cubs in 2018, so they’ll be looking to get off to a good start today to establish themselves against this tough Cubs team.
Alonso, Davis, and McNeil are all hitting above .300 in the last week for the Mets. In a 2-7 loss to the Braves yesterday, the Mets put up 9 hits, 4 of them doubles. The only Met with more than 3 ABs against Chatwood is Michael Conforto, who is hitting .222 in 9 ABs with 1 RBI. Rosario and Cano are both 1-3 off the right-hander.
Lockett went 0-3 in 4 starts last year. He made one start against the Cubs in 2018, giving up 9 hits and 5 runs through 5.0 innings pitched. He fanned 6 and let up 2 walks. He will look to regain his footing tonight in his first Major League start of the year.
Cubs vs Mets Betting Odds
The line is currently set at Cubs -140 Mets +120 after opening at Mets +138 Cubs -158. The unpredictability of Lockett coming into tonight’s game leads me to say the Cubs should come out victorious in this one. Maybe wait to see if the line gets any more favorable for the Cubs, or take the Cubs -1.5 which is currently at +130. The over/under is currently set at 9 runs. It opened at 8.5, but I’d skip this one tonight. In general, over/unders in baseball are an incredibly tough thing to gauge and you’ll usually end up being completely off the mark one way or another.
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