While both of these teams had a big offseason with the intention of being playoff contenders in 2023, the Mets have just about given up on those aspirations, while the Cubs are right in the thick of the NL Central and Wild Card races. Still, New York isn’t going down without a fight, as they took game 1 of this series, before Chicago came back to steal game 2. Let’s take a look at the odds for the rubber match, where the prediction is a Cubs win and the over to hit at -115 odds for a total of 9 runs.
Cubs vs. Mets Prediction Today
There seems to be something truly special about this Cubs team, which has absolutely no quit in it. They seemed to be dead in the water just a few weeks before the trade deadline, and there was speculation about where the team’s star players would go in the event of a fire sale. Then the wins started coming, the team bought at the deadline, and the front office’s faith in the players has paid off immensely; they’re currently sitting in a playoff spot.
Things have been a bit different for the Mets, who made waves with big-name acquisitions and even bigger contracts over the winter. Like the Cubs, the season did not start the way they would have hoped, but dissimilarly, they have completely failed to turn things around. Steve Cohen is cutting his losses, and the team sold in a big way at the deadline, trading away players like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Tommy Pham for some nice returns.
There are still some very talented players left on the Mets, like Pete Alonso who has caught fire recently and just ripped his 34th homer of the year. Conversely, the rotation has been really weakened after the deadline, and the Mets are tossing David Peterson on Wednesday. He’s had a pretty brutal season, and will be facing a very hot Cubs lineup, so that should be interesting to see. In the other half of the innings, the Cubs are throwing fan-favorite Kyle Hendricks. He’s had a decent year overall, but has been really rough recently after a fantastic start to the year.
The moneyline is a relative no-brainer, even on the road you have to believe in this Cubs team that is getting hot at the right time, and it’s impossible to invest in Peterson at this time. The total is a tougher proposition, however. Yes, the Cubs should score some, but which Hendricks will we see? And which Mets lineup? After a pitching duel in game 2 and Hendricks’s truly awful most-recent outing, I’m going to say that the bats come alive in this one and hit the over.
Cubs vs. Mets Prediction: Cubs ML (-120), o9 runs (-115)
Cubs vs. Mets Odds
The Cubs are -120 favorites on the road, while the host team Mets are even money at +100. For a run scoring line of 9, the over is -115 while the under is -105.
Cubs vs. Mets Key Matchups
Kyle Hendricks vs. Power Hitters
Hendricks is at his best when he’s able to pitch to contact. His hard hit rate and average exit velocity are outstanding, and his months with lower WHIP have also coincided with those with fewer strikeouts. He doesn’t have a ton of spin or velocity, or a great strikeout or whiff rate, and allows a good amount of barrels, but he doesn’t really walk anyone either. So, the kinds of hitters who can get him out of his comfort zone are “true outcome” hitters, ones who specialize in hitting it out of the park, or otherwise, drawing a walk.
As far as power goes, the discussion has to start with Alonso. He leads the team with 34 homers, including 3 in this series already, and is second in the National League in that category, behind only Matt Olson. Francisco Lindor has also shown some pop with 22 long balls, and Francisco Alvarez is right behind with 21, an impressive total with just 84 games played for the rookie catcher. Brandon Nimmo leads the team in walks with 54, contributing to his team-best .351 OBP. Lindor is up next with 49 walks, and Alonso curiously has just 39.
David Peterson vs. Top of the Lineups
Peterson doesn’t give up too many home runs or walks, and he strikes batters out, but he gives up a ton of hits, over 10 per 9 innings of work. He curiously struggles against lefties, who put up a .951 OPS against him, even though he’s a southpaw himself. Lastly, Peterson has a tough time with the first couple of innings. He’ll have to face all of those weaknesses head-on in the first few batters of the game, so let’s take a look at the top of the Cubs lineup.
Lefty Mike Tauchman has been leading off lately, and is doing a great job. In the past week, he’s hit over .400 with an OPS well over 1.000, an exceptional stretch amidst a really strong season in which he’s hitting .284. Up next is Nico Hoerner, who is a curious choice in the #2 spot but is still having a strong season. 2022 All Star Ian Happ is up next, and then comes the real firepower.
Cody Bellinger, one of the best lefty bats in the NL, is right back to his MVP-level form, with an OPS well over .900 and a WAR approaching 4 in just 83 games after missing time with an injury. Dansby Swanson has also been swinging well of late, and then there’s deadline acquisition Jeimer Candelario, who has hit .483 across his first week or so as a Cub. This lineup is hot at the right time, and is a major reason why I have the Cubs hitting the -120 moneyline in my Cubs vs. Mets prediction.
Cubs vs. Mets Starting Lineups
Cubs Starting Lineup
RF M. Tauchman L
2B N. Hoerner R
LF I. Happ S
CF C. Bellinger L
SS D. Swanson R
1B J. Candelario S
DH C. Morel R
C Y. Gomes R
3B N. Madrigal R
Mets Starting Lineup
CF B. Nimmo L
C F. Alvarez R
SS F. Lindor S
1B P. Alonso R
DH M. Vientos R
RF J. McNeil L
3B D. Mendick R
LF R. Ortega L
2B J. Araúz S