The “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field have been anything but kind to the New York Mets. The Mets have lost eight straight regular-season road games to the Chicago Cubs, a streak they’ll try to break in the second contest of a three-game set Tuesday.
Chicago improved its National League-best home record to 29-15 with a 5-1 victory in the series opener, getting a three-run blast from Anthony Rizzo and a strong outing from Jon Lester. The loss snapped the Mets’ streak of eight straight wins against the Cubs, including a sweep in last year’s NL Championship Series and a four-game sweep earlier this month in New York. The Cubs’ starting pitching, which limped into the All-Star break, has turned in four solid starts to begin the second half. The Mets will try to beat reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta for the second time in 2 1/2 weeks after touching him for four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings July 2 in New York.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), CSN Chicago, ESPN
Mets – SP N. Syndergaard (Probable Tuesday, arm), RP J. Henderson (15-Day DL, bicep), 1B L. Duda (15-Day DL, back), 3B D. Wright (60-Day DL, neck).
Cubs – CF D. Fowler (15-Day DL, hamstring), RP T. Cahill (15-Day DL, knee), 3B C. Coghlan (15-Day DL, ribs), LF J. Soler (15-Day DL, hamstring).
WEATHER REPORT: The weather forecast couldn’t be more perfect for what, on paper, looks like a potential game of the year candidate. Clear skies, temperatures in the low-80’s, and a bit of a breeze (5 mph) blowing in from right field will welcome these two teams to the field Tuesday night.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Despite the fact that the action is coming in at 2-1 on the Cubs on the ML, the line has gone down from Cubs -150 to -136, which would mean that the sharp action in Vegas is on the Mets. This doesn’t seem to be discouraging the action on the Cubbies from the public though, as ML bets on Chicago continue to roll in at a rate of 2-1.” – GTBets Lines Manager.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.56 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.68)
Syndergaard, who has been battling bone chips in his elbow, received a few extra days coming out of the All-Star break. The 23-year-old has been inconsistent over the past couple of weeks, but he held the Cubs to one run over seven innings July 3 in New York. Syndergaard is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts against Chicago.
Arrieta has not recorded a quality start in his last four outings and has lasted six innings in just one of those starts. The 30-year-old’s last outing before the All-Star break was a rough one, as he allowed six runs over six innings in a loss at Pittsburgh. Arrieta is 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts against the Mets.
* Mets are 1-7 in their last 8 Tuesday games.
* Mets are 7-0 in Syndergaard’s last 7 starts vs. National League Central.
* Cubs are 1-6 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Cubs are 11-3 in Arrieta’s last 14 home starts.
* Over is 7-1 in Syndergaard’s last 8 starts overall.
* Under is 9-2 in Cubs last 11 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Mets are 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers public is favoring the home favorite Chicago Cubs at a rate of 64 percent. Early returns on the total were showing 86 percent of the wagers on Under 7.0. View full consensus data here.