Thankfully, the Cubs salvaged their recent homestand with a win yesterday, though it marked an overall series loss to the Rockies.
The Chicago Cubs will now turn their attention to the New York Mets for the start of a six-game road trip. Following this three gamer, they’ll stick on the East coast for three more against the Pirates, before coming home for three more against the Padres.
There are still three off days before the All-Star Break, but we’re really inching closer to that point in the season. Hopefully, the Cubs can finish strong, make some moves in July and start to seal up the weak NL Central. Wouldn’t it be nice?
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (31-31) dropped three of four to the Rockies on the heels of series wins against the Cardinals (sweep) and Marlins (2-1). When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound as bad as it felt. And hey, since the Cubs now only perform in streaks, it is not possible for them to lose, say, the first two games of this series, right?
The New York Mets (28-33), like the Cubs, are in second place in their division, but stand an already-almost-but-not-quite-insurmountable 9.5 games out. Although it’s been a disappointing, injury-filled year overall so far, the Mets did just take 3 of 4 from the Braves, and have won 4 of their last 5. So, warm-ish?
Location: Citi Field
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, June 12 at 6:10 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score
- Tuesday, June 13 at 6:10 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score
- Wednesday, June 14 at 6:10 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Lineup or Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.
- John Lackey (5.12 ERA, 5.05 FIP, 4.03 xFIP; 3.43 K/BB)
- Jon Lester (4.13 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 3.69 xFIP; 2.81 K/BB)
- Mike Montgomery (2.43 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 4.41 xFIP; 1.35 K/BB)
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez/Addison Russell, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
New York Mets
- Jacob deGrom (4.75 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 3.24 xFIP; 3.13 K/BB)
- Zack Wheeler (3.45 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 4.08 xFIP; 2.15 K/BB)
- Matt Harvey (5.02 ERA, 5.84 FIP, 5.06 xFIP; 1.44 K/BB)
- Michael Conforto, LF
- Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Neil Walker, 2B
- Lucas Duda, 1B
- Wilmer Flores, 3B
- Curtis Granderson, CF
- Travis d’Arnaud, C
Note: Yoenis Cespedes is expected back in this series, though it’s not entirely clear where he’ll hit or play.
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Chicago Cubs – Pitching
John Lackey has allowed 40 earned runs this season, and 10 – a full quarter of them – have come in the first inning (7.50 ERA). Stop that. Because after the first inning, Lackey has consistently settled into some really nice starts (again, if you could ignore the first inning, which you can’t, because it turns out that the first inning also counts). Five of the 16 homers Lackey has allowed this year have also come in the first inning.
Justin Grimm came back on a mission. Since he return from the minor leagues in late May, he’s struck out 11 and walked just 2 in 6.0 innings, while allowing bupkis.
Chicago Cubs – Offense
Kris Bryant is so quietly, consistently good that even when he goes through a stretch where I think in my head, “Hmm, feels like Kris Bryant hasn’t done a lot lately,” I’m almost always dead wrong: since the start of the Marlins series, he’s hit .273/.484/.591.
Besides Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have just one regular with a wRC+ above 100 at this point. It’s Ian Happ (105), whose line since his initial blistering hot first 10 days is just .130/.230/.315 (45 wRC+).
New York Mets – Pitching
There was a time not so long ago when staring down the barrel of a deGrom-Wheeler-Harvey series would have been terrifying. But a string of injuries have derailed each of the trio to differing extents over the past few years (also Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz), and each is now but a husk of the pitcher/potential he once was.
… which naturally means each will have the bounceback start of his career against the Cubs.
New York Mets – Offense
The team gets a big boost with Yoenis Cespedes finally returning to the starting lineup today. When he’s been able to play this year, he’s done serious damage (.275/.370/.638), but he’s managed just 81 plate appearances.
In the meantime, Cespedes’ absence opened the door for consistent, regular playing time for youngster Michael Conforto, who’s posted a .293/.412/.592 line, and emerged as the offensive force he was envisioned to be when there was a debate at this time in 2014 about whether his or Kyle Schwarber’s was the surest college bat in the draft.