After stopping an annoying skid with a sweep over the Reds, the Chicago Cubs are heading to New York, to take on the Mets.
The four game set will be the first pairing between the Mets and Cubs since the 2015 NLCS. Hopefully, things turn out a bit differently this time around.
John Lackey takes the ball for Chicago, pitching to Willson Contreras yet again. Contreras is catching his second straight game, but starting in his eighth straight contest.
But let’s keep the catching/defensive/long-term implications of that many starts in a row aside for a moment, and instead marvel at his slash line: .333/.429/.639 (.449 wOBA) through 42 plate appearances. And then consider that through the same number of his first MLB plate appearances, Kyle Schwarber had a .495 wOBA. Watching the two of them split time (apparently all over the field) next season is going to be so much fun – especially because they bat from opposite sides of the plate.
Starting for the Mets is lefty Steven Matz. Matz has had a pretty good year in terms of results (3.29 ERA), but has actually performed a touch better (2.94 FIP) than they indicate. Interestingly, Matz boasts a reverse split for his career – .280 wOBA against righties .306 wOBA against lefties – but has not allowed a single homer to a lefty, compared to the 10 he’s given up against righties. Weird.
Jason Heyward is getting the night off tonight, but not – as we previously thought – because the lefty Matz is on the mound. Instead, Mark Gonzalez and Gordon Wittenmyer have tweeted that he is resting a sore left side. That the rest lines up with two lefties in a row is actually a pleasant silver lining.
If the Cubs win tonight, that’ll be four in a row! If the Mets lose, it’ll be five in a row! I like streaks; let’s keep both going.
Chicago Cubs (51-26) at New York Mets (40-37), 6:10 CT on CSN, MLBN, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?
Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.29 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 3.62 xFIP; 3.78 K/BB
Mets: Steven Matz (L): 3.29 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 3.20 xFIP; 4.87 K/BB
New York Mets Lineup:
1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Yoenis Cespedes, CF
4. James Loney, 1B
5. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
6. Kelly Johnson, LF
7. Wilmer Flores, 3B
8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
9. Steven Matz, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ben Zobrist, RF
2. Kris Bryant, 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Willson Contreras, C
5. Javy Baez, 2B
6. Matt Szczur, LF
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. John Lackey, P
9. Albert Almora Jr., CF