Since taking all seven regular season meetings in 2015, the Cubs have lost eight in a row to the Mets – that obviously includes getting swept in last year’s National League Championship Series. It also includes a sweep at Citi Field that took place earlier this month.
But the revenge angle could be strong here at Wrigley this week. In Friday’s column, I stated that I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the NL Central leaders win their series against Texas (took 2 of 3) and I’m of the same mindset here. Not only is this series contested at the Friendly Confines, but the Cubs get to trot out Lester and Arrieta in the first two games.
The Mets offense (28th in runs scored) has fallen off dramatically this season.
First Time for Everything
In one of the real “stunners” of the weekend, San Diego swept San Francisco.
Believe it or not, but that was the first sweep for the Padres all season! It’s just their fourth three-game win streak of 2016 and so far they are 0-3 in this spot, having been shut out twice.
Their opponent starting Monday is St. Louis, who shockingly has the third worst home record in the entire National League (20-28). The Padres have actually played the Cardinals tough over the last three seasons, going 8-9 against them.
Sticking with the National League, there’s a big series starting Tuesday as the Nationals host the Dodgers.
In my eyes, Washington has emerged as the second best team in all of baseball (Cubs) and they have the edge at home as Los Angeles has been a losing proposition (-5.7 units) on the road. It is still unknown as to when Clayton Kershaw will be making his return to the mound, but it doesn’t seem like it will be in the Nation’s Capital.
This is also a revenge situation for the Nats as they were swept at Dodger Stadium back in June.
WAG of the Week:
Ariana Aubert is the girlfriend of J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers. Ariana is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and now just lives the life of a baseball WAG.
* The White Sox desperately need a quality start from Chris Sale on Monday. Their left-handed ace was shockingly shelled by Atlanta in his last start before the All-Star Break (allowed eight runs!), not to mention the team has scored a grand total of one run its last four games. Sale still has a 14-4 TSR though (3.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) and will be facing a team (Seattle) that scored only two runs in its last two games.
* Tyler Anderson is a name to potentially keep an eye on. A rookie southpaw for Colorado, he’s obviously at a disadvantage having to regularly pitch at Coors Field. But the Rockies finally might have a pitcher who can consistently strike batters out (so key with that thin air). He has a 32-6 KW rate thus far (six starts) and has allowed three earned runs or less every time out.
* So much for sacrifice. A day after the Indians did a well-publicized “sacrifice” (google it, if interested) on catcher Yan Gomes (in the hopes of getting him out of a season-long slump), he injured his shoulder and now may possibly miss the remainder of the regular season. While catcher is a tough position to have an injury, what is Cleveland really going to be missing here? Gomes was hitting only .165 for the year, including a 0 for 27 stretch heading into Sunday.
* Cleveland will be facing Kansas City starting Monday. The Royals have a hitter of their own who has been in a season-long funk, that being Alex Gordon, who is hitting just .207 for the year with a .692 OPS. Gordon is just a .188 career hitter against Corey Kluber, whom KC will face in Monday’s opener.
The Over has cashed in each of the last six starts made by Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola. He faces off against Jose Fernandez on Monday, at home.
Monday’s Weather Report:
Thunderstorms are expected to be the theme of the week as a massive system is being forecast to stall and stretch from the Midwest all the way to the East coast. Let’s get into it.
* There is a chance of thunderstorms in The Bronx where the first place Orioles will be in town to take on the Yankees. There is a 60 percent chance of rain to go along with hot and humid conditions this evening. The total is currently set at 9.0.
* Thunderstorms will also be an issue in Philadelphia where the Phillies will be hosting the Miami Marlins. There is also a 60 percent chance of rain for this one with hot, humid air conditions and a 10 mph wind blowing out to right field. The total is currently set at 7.0.
* There is a chance of thunderstorms in Cincinnati where the Reds will host the Atlanta Braves. There is a 50 percent chance of rain and hot, sticky air throughout the game. The total is set at 9.0.
* Busch Stadium in St. Louis will be another sight for a potential light show tonight. The San Diego Padres will be in town to take on the Cards and there is a 30 percent chance of rain, temperatures in the mid-90’s, humidity levels at around 70 percent, and a 5 mph breeze blowing out to left field. The total is set at 8.5.
* Denver will have a 50 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight with the Tampa Bay Rays coming to town to take on the Rockies in interleague action. There will be a 5-10 mph swirling wind throughout the evening. The total is currently 11.5.