Series Preview: Mets at Cubs, August 27 - August 29, 2018

Social Navigation

Series Preview: Mets at Cubs, August 27 – August 29, 2018

Chicago Cubs

After winning five straight contests, the Chicago Cubs are looking to keep the good times rolling with a three-game home series against the usually woeful Mets. Unfortunately, the timing really couldn’t have been much worse to meet up with them.

You’ll see as this post goes on, but the Cubs have the misfortune of catching two of the top starters in baseball – Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom – as well as a few offensive players who happen to be peaking at just the wrong time. Obviously, with Cole Hamels and Jon Lester going in this one, the Cubs still stand a very good chance of winning – particularly because the Mets have a 79 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, third worst in MLB – but it should be a tough series nonetheless. Or at least tougher than you’d expect at home against a bad team.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (76-53) have won five games in a row and are sitting at a season-high 23 games over .500. They’ve won six games in a row just one other time this year, so they can match a season high tonight.

The New York Mets (58-72) just took two of three from the Nationals, but ended that series with a 15-run loss at home. With that, they’ve moved to 15 games out of first and 14 games below .500. Their season is effectively over.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Monday, August 27th at 7:05 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score
  • Tuesday, August 28th at 7:05 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, August 29th at 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jon Lester (3.64 ERA, 4.74 FIP; 2.19 K/BB)
  • Cole Hamels (0.79 ERA, 2.36 FIP; 3.75 K/BB)
  • Alec Mills (1.17 ERA, 0.94 FIP; 10.00 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Daniel Murphy
  • 3B – David Bote
  • SS – Javy Baez
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Ian Happ/Albert Almora
  • RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist

Unavailable: Kris Bryant, Tyler Chatwood, Yu Darvish, Drew Smyly, Brandon Morrow, Brian Duensing, Addison Russell, Justin Hancock, Mike Montgomery

New York Mets

Probable Pitchers:

  • Noah Syndergaard (3.38 ERA, 2.62 FIP; 5.05 K/BB)
  • Jacob deGrom (1.71 ERA, 2.07 FIP; 5.35 K/BB)
  • Jason Vargas (6.96 ERA, 5.47 FIP; 2.39 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Devin Mesoraco
  • 1B – Wilmer Flores
  • 2B – Jeff McNeil
  • 3B – Todd Frazier
  • SS – Ahmed Rosario
  • LF – Michael Conforto
  • CF – Austin Jackson
  • RF – Jay Bruce

Unavailable: Brandon Nimmo, Anthony Swarzak, Yoenis Cespedes, Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares, Bobby Wahl, David Wright, AJ Ramos.

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Alec Mills isn’t necessarily going to stick in the 2018 rotation, but after his really impressive stating debut (5.2 IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 8Ks), he’s getting another shot against the Mets this week. Perhaps he can plant some seeds for the rotation/rotation depth heading into next season.

Cubs Player: Daniel Murphy is scorching hot in his short time with the Cubs – 9 hits in his first 5 games including 2 homers – and is easily the player to watch this series. As much as it pains me to reflect on his past success, we already knew he was one of the best hitters in baseball, but he’s really proving it. Now he gets to face his previous former team with his current new team. Or something like that.

Mets Pitcher: Noah Syndergaard may have the peripherals here in the second half of the season (2.59 FIP), but he certainly hasn’t gotten the results to match (4.14 ERA). As far as I can tell, the main culprit is his uncharacteristically low strikeout rate in the second half (19.9%). Because he is getting a ton of ground balls, allowing almost no fly balls, is getting a ridiculous amount of soft contact and not allowing any hard contact, like, at all. And he’s the second best pitcher the Cubs will face this series.

Mets Player: Jeff McNeil has produced like CRAZY over the past two weeks, slashing .418/.448/.545 (175 wRC+) while earning 0.9 WAR. And yet he’s almost exactly matched by Todd Frazier during that same stretch (174 wRC+, 0.9 WAR). Bad time to play the Mets, I guess.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami