The Cubs (58-54) won two of three from an outstanding Atlanta Braves team to complete a great 5-2 homestand and move into a virtual tie for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. They are on a 16-7 tear in the second half and their offense is firing on all cylinders with the addition of Jeimer Candelario at the trade deadline. Chicago now heads east to the Big Apple and a three-game set with the Mets (50-61) beginning Monday night.
It’s been a wildly disappointing season for Steve Cohen’s team, which dumped high-priced starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander at the deadline. The Metropolitans have not won a game since the sell-off and they’re just a couple games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the standings.
Their pitching had struggled to the tune of a 4.41 team ERA even with the big-name arms in the rotation, so things aren’t looking up in that regard. The only bright spot remaining in the rotation is Kodai Senga and his Ghost Fork, which has him at a 3.25 ERA in his first season in America.
The Mets have really underperformed on the offensive end despite some stars in the lineup. Their .714 OPS as a unit is 21st in the MLB and normally excellent hitters like Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil are really struggling. Pete Alonso is still hitting a bunch of home runs — he’s at 30 heading into this series — but he’s batting just .220 and is walking at a career-low 8.9% rate.
The Cubs took two of three from a much more complete version of Buck Showalter‘s team in May at Wrigley Field and should be able to do more of the same this time. That said, the Mets still have several quality hitters lurking and can’t be overlooked.
The North Siders are definitely heading to Queens at the right time and have an excellent chance to maintain their surge. If they keep doing what they are doing, the good times should roll.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, August 7 at 6:10pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
- Tuesday, August 8 at 6:10pm CT on Marquee.
- Wednesday, August 9 at 6:10pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
What to Watch For
- Candelario has gotten on base five times in the last two games and has been terrific since his trade from Washington.
- Cody Bellinger reached base eight times in the Braves series as he continues to dominate.
- Hendricks is looking to bounce back from a tough outing against Atlanta in which he allowed seven runs in the 4th inning.
- The Cubs are 25-19 all-time at Citi Field, much better than their 157-173 mark against the Mets at Shea Stadium and the Polo Grounds.